Residents of Ralph Narine Trace, South Oropouche, say their sense of safety and security has been diminished after it was learnt that two of the country’s most wanted men had spent at least a day living right in their community.
On Saturday evening, officers from the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and Defence Force recaptured escapees Olatungi Denbow and Michael Findley after they spent 11 days on the run after breaking their way out of remand yard at Golden Grove, Arouca, on May 15. They were found hiding in a house at Ralph Narine Trace which is located next to a mangrove close to a river, where the authorities say the two would have made their way to Venezuela.
Yesterday, police and residents said the escapees may have been given the location by one of the other six men who escaped with them earlier since he had ties to the area. Residents said the duo sneaked into the community by hiding in the bushes before making it to the house, where they were found in the company of three children all under the age of 18.
One resident, who preferred to remain off camera, said the children were taken away and are in the custody of the Child Protection Unit of the TTPS. The police now want to speak with their mother.
The resident said he understands the men were on his property before they went to the house and he no longer feels safe since his house is out in the open. The man said law enforcement questioned him and other residents in the area before they found the men. He was also questioned and confined to his home by the officers for just over an hour. The man said the officers also broke down his door to gain entry to his house to search for the men before he was questioned. The police subsequently apologised for breaking down his door but he is hoping he can be compensated for the damage done to his property.
Denbow and Findley were still being questioned by police officers up to yesterday and are expected to be charged and appear in court early this week.
The other prison escapees, Mikhale Mohammed, Steffon Austin, Joshua Janet, Brent Johnson and Kerry Valentino, were recaptured less than 24 hours after their escape in Las Lomas, while Atiba Sealy was caught a day later in the same area. The six men have since appeared before an Arima magistrate and have pleaded not guilty to escaping lawful custody. It is expected that Denbow and Findley will also have to answer the same charge.