Police investigators are now on the hunt for the “Big Fish” in connection with yesterday’s $3 million drug bust that occurred at North Valsayn.
A businessman linked to a popular furniture chain in T&T owns the residence, according to sources.
Guardian Media was told that investigators believe that there is also a “strong” Colombian link to the massive drug ring that they believe they have “cracked.”
Four Venezuelan women were among nine people arrested in connection with the drug haul and up to press time were being questioned by the police.
It was not known, however, whether or not any information was provided by the suspects of the businessman’s role in the operation, if any.
Investigators said it was “too early to comment on anything further in relation to the investigations.”
This is the second multi-million dollar drug bust in less than one month by the T&T Police Service (TTPS).
According to a police report, at about 2 am, acting on intelligence, officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), the Northern Division Task Force, Crime Scene Unit, Canine Unit and Gang Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at a house at Mayfield Road, North Valsayn.
During a search of a Nissan E25 panel van, the officers discovered 600 kilogrammes of marijuana packaged in several black garbage bags.
Police subsequently arrested five men and four Venezuelan women, who were all, up to press time said to be assisting investigators. They were occupants of the house, police said.
Police also seized three vehicles from the compound during the operation.
In response to the major drug bust, Commissioner of Police (CoP) said he intends to “break the back of the drug trade and cripple their business.”
“This operation follows with the recent one when over $2 million dollars of illegal drugs and several automatic rifles were seized and persons held. When such seizures take place, somebody in the underworld loses out which is not my concern,” Griffith said.
Griffith promised that the more criminal elements commit violent crimes and the more death threats they send, the harder he and the TTPS “would swing.”
“At the end of the 12 rounds, with the grace of God, good would prevail over evil and we would remain standing,” Griffith said.
A resident from the area, a businessman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they only know of any illegal activities when “police operations like this takes place.”
“This is a highly residential area that not a soul could be seen walking the road day or night…yes, vehicles pass but no one takes note…yes, there is private security for the residents who do patrols but still, no one takes note of any movement from anyone.”
“Over the years we have heard about drugs, guns, exotic animals being found, illegal immigrants being housed at some of the mansions around but we don’t know what’s happening around us…only when it hits the news…but, it is frightening to know that your neighbour is involved in some illegal activity of such serious and mafia-type nature. You only see these things in the movies,” the businessman added.
On November 9, a cache of high-powered military type weapons, ammunition and over 100 packets of marijuana were seized by police at Apartment 4, Block 7, Macaya Trace, Munroe Road, Cunupia.
On November 13, Barataria businessman, Jerome Junior Ollivierre, 28, appeared before a Chaguanas magistrate charged with the offence.
In a simultaneous exercise that same day (November 9), officers of the Eastern Division Task Force discovered 68 packets of marijuana valued approximately $.5 million.
The officers acted on information received and went to Caigual Road, Sangre Chiquito where they conducted a search of a bushy area. The officers, including officers from the Valencia and Sangre Grande CID, found the packets of marijuana hidden in four white containers. Police said the drugs weighed 46.2 kilogrammes. Police also found a bulletproof vest. No one was arrested.
Investigations are continuing.