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Airport robbery suspect must stay in custody—judge

Published: 
Saturday, December 16, 2017

A High Court judge has refused a legal challenge from one of the five suspects in last week’s $5.5 million robbery at the Piarco International Airport.

Lawyers representing the 32-year-old suspect ofLongdenville filed the habeas corpus writ in the San Fernando High Court on Thursday evening.

Under the writ the lawyers were questioning the lengthy delay in charging their client for the crime.

The suspect, a mason and a father of two, was arrested at a supermarket near his home last week Thursday, a day after the robbery.

The T&T Guardian understands that immediately following the filing of the writ, investigators released the suspect’s two brothers, who were also arrested and interrogated by police.

When the case came up for hearing before Justice Frank Seepersad in the San Fernando High Court yesterday morning, investigators testified that the probe into the heist was at an advanced stage.

They claimed that they were awaiting confirmation from the Central Bank on whether $250,000 recovered in their investigation formed part of the stolen loot and for the Police Service Cyber Crime Unit to analysis the remaining suspects cellphones.

Investigators are expected to approach the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) this weekend or early next week to determine if charges could be laid against the three remaining suspects.

Giving an oral decision, Seepersad said police were justified as they had shown they were acting with due diligence.

“The matter under investigation is unique and given the locale at which the robbery occurred and the nature of same there are issues of national security that arise,” Seepersad said as he ruled that the suspect’s detention was not arbitrary.

The well planned and orchestrated hit targeted a First Citizens Bank load which was being sent to Tobago via Caribbean Airlines, and took place mere metres away from the Piarco Police Station.

The suspect was represented by Kiev Chesney.