Almost a week after a total of 18 people were arrested as part of investigations into several gang-related shootings and murders in and around Port-of-Spain, police officers charged seven and released the remaining 11.
Fifteen suspects, which included the reputed leader of a high-profile gang, were arrested in several early morning raids last Thursday morning, while more were detained between Thursday evening and Friday morning, in response to a gang war in east Port-of-Spain.
Investigators confirmed that the man believed to be the leader of the gang was released without charges being laid on Sunday.
Seven of the men who were being held at the St Joseph Police Station were charged with loitering and granted station bail yesterday.
Police also confirmed that another group of men detained during the sweep and kept at the Besson Street Police Station were also released pending further enquiries.
One police source said that even if suspects were not charged, it did not mean the exercises were unsuccessful, as information gathered from interviews can be used in future investigations.
He added that documenting the names, aliases, addresses and photographs of the suspects can also be helpful in compiling information into the gang database.
“It’s not a failure because regardless of whether they were charged or not, it helps us going forward in learning more about who these people are, where we can find them and who they are affiliated with,” one officer said.
The raids were conducted by officers from the Inter-Agency Task Force, the Guard and Emergency Branch, the Belmont Police Station, the Besson Street Police Station, the Canine Unit and the Regiment.