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Phones, laptops, iPads seized

Sunday, February 18, 2018
Cops keep freed Carnival plot detainees’ property

Out of the 15 people detained in connection with the alleged plot to disrupt the 2018 Carnival festivities, the majority were released mainly due to writs of habeas corpus filed.

But a senior police official said yesterday the case was from from complete or closed.

“Being released due to such a writ doesn’t mean you’re home free,” a senior police official noted.

Officials - as well as attorneys for some detainees - confirmed that laptops, phones and other items were seized by police and kept.

One detainee, who’s an information technology expert and who went to Turkey and was turned back from going further and returned home, was relieved of a number of phones, laptops, Ipads, tablets and similar equipment he uses in his business, his attorney said.

“We’ll undertake legal action on the confiscation of his equipment and also for false imprisonment within the next two weeks,” the attorney added.

He said police didn’t ask his client about ISIS, but told him he’d been on their radar for a long time and had been followed and his phone conversations recorded.

“But my client had no record and is of good character. The police who spoke to him asked if he was going to sue the state, apologised and said they were acting under orders.”

Another Port-of Spain-based attorney for a another detainee who’s allegedly on suspension from his job, also said his client would sue for wrongful arrest soon, though security officers had told him in questioning he wasn’t a “suspect” but was of interest due to a story about him (not in the Guardian) which he’s denied.

“My client had gone to Haj in Saudi Arabia in 2014. We’ll be sending the required pre-action protocol letter which allows 28 days for response and following that we’ll know what to draft,” the lawyers said.

But the state, expected to field similar lawsuits from other detainees, is now focusing on the Anti-Gang and Anti Terrorism bills. Their implementation could provide information from the former bill which could fully operationalise the latter, sources said.

Carnival terror plot time-line

On Thursday February 8, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Public Information Officer, acting ASP Michael Jackman, announced that four people had been arrested in connection with a threat to disrupt 2018 Carnival celebrations.

Police had conducted searches at the Nur-E-Islam Masjid in San Juan, as well as private residences at Mohammedville and Mustapha Lane in El Socorro, San Juan.

On Saturday February 10, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams announced that three more suspects had been held, bringing the total number of those detained to seven.

On Monday February 12, the masjid and administration building of the Darul Uloom Islamic school were searched.

Eventually, 15 people in all were detained for questioning in connection with the threat to disrupt Carnival celebrations.

Between Wednesday February 14 and 15, five of the suspects were released. The released were Tariq Mohammed, Fawaz Ali, Clint Rivers, Kersen Mohammed and Imam Lennox Agard.

On Friday, February 16, all except two were released. Among those released were Mustapha Khan, Muhammad Salaam, Imam Yasin and Shaheed Rahim

The only two to be charged were Adil Mansano and Alisha Thomas, who were charged with possession of a firearm.


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