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Police raid Beetham

...in hunt for Laventille schoolboys’ murder suspects
Published: 
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Members of the Inter Agency Task Force walk past children playing during searches in Hell Yard, Beetham Gardens yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

At the same time that the funeral service for De-Neilson Smith was being conducted, police were yesterday carrying out a search of parts of Beetham Gardens, hunting for the suspects in the student’s murder. 

In a double murder last Thursday that shocked the country, gunmen dragged Smith and fellow schoolboy Mark Richards out of a car along Picton Road, Laventille, and shot them dead. Richards was buried on Thursday. Both were students of Success Laventille Secondary School. 

Speaking with the media at Hell Yard Beetham Gardens, yesterday, Snr Supt Wayne Boyd, in charge of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF), said, “Recently with the shootings in Laventille with the young boys, this is one of the surgical exercises being carried out.

“We have suspects we are looking for but I don’t want to say much on that at this time, because information is still coming in and exercises still going on. What I will say is that this is an exercise that is going on because of the recent homicides and it will take place not just in this area, but all the hotspot areas throughout the country.”

Early reports had said that four people had been held in connection with the boys’ murder, but senior homicide officers denied ever arresting anyone in connection with the killings.

As for other successes arising out of the exercise, Boyd said, “So far we have two persons held and a large quantity of ammunition and drugs. 

The exercise started at 12.30 pm and ended at 4 pm. It included officers from the IATF, Port-of-Spain Task Force and Criminal Investigation Department, the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit, Guard and Emergency Branch, Regiment, Western Division and the K9 Unit.

Boyd added that residents were happy to see them, but they could not show it because they’d be victimised. Residents could be seen chatting with officers while others went about their daily routine, as if 15 jeeploads of officers searching houses was a normal occurrence. 

Some played cards while others listened to loud reggae music. Children pedalled their road bikes, electronic cars and scooters, seemingly without a care.