Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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12 suspected gang members arrested in PoS exercise
An anti-crime exercise in Port-of-Spain, conducted in response to a spate of gang violence this week, has resulted in the arrest of 53 people, including 12 suspected gang members and leaders. The dozen men, who were arrested at their homes at St Barb’s and John John in Laventille; Sea Lots; Beetham Gardens and Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain, remained detained at a police station in the Port-of-Spain Division up to yesterday.
The suspects were being interrogated by detectives of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit, who were said to be considering charging the men under the controversial Anti Gang Act. Police sources described the dozen as “major players” in gang and criminal activity in east Port-of-Spain. The exercise, which began around 6 am on Thursday and ended 24 hours after, was led by Senior Supt Wayne Boyd and ASP Ajith Persad.
Police said some of the dozen had been arrested during the limited state of emergency in 2011 and were charged under the same legislation. However, after spending weeks in remand, they were eventually freed when Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard stated that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.
On Thursday, while speaking to reporters after a tour of east Port-of-Spain, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that her government’s intention to reimplement the anti-gang legislation. The tour was held in response to six murders on Wednesday, including those of three teenagers.
Persad-Bissessar said: “As we speak, I am being advised by the commissioner and the DCP that they are in discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) concerning the implementation of the anti-gang law.” She said if someone was held under the law they would be kept out of the public domain for four months, within which time a case could be built.
During the exercise, officers of the Stolen Vehicles Squad also recovered five stolen vehicles and arrested five suspected car thieves. The lawmen also issued more than 90 fixed penalty tickets for various traffic offences. The other people arrested were detained for a range of offences, including drug possession and larceny offences. Similar exercises are planned for this weekend and the next couple of weeks, police said.
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