Gangsters’ arrests linked to sudden drop in murders

The ar­rest of known gang lead­ers and the seizure of arms and am­mu­ni­tion over the past 72 hours by po­lice of­fi­cers have been iden­ti­fied as the main rea­son for the sud­den drop in mur­ders and vi­o­lent crime.

Up to press time on Tues­day, the mur­der count of 298 re­mained un­changed.

 

Which means there have been no mur­ders since Sun­day.

On Tues­day, an uniden­ti­fied nude body was found at Vista Heights in Tacarigua. An au­top­sy has been or­dered to de­ter­mine the cause of death.

Po­lice were told that at about 1.30 pm a naked man was seen run­ning through the Vista Heights com­mu­ni­ty.

The po­lice were no­ti­fied, and up­on ar­rival, they found him un­re­spon­sive. 

There were no vis­i­ble marks of vi­o­lence, how­ev­er, the area was cor­doned off and of­fi­cials from the Homi­cide Bu­reau were called to the scene.

 

ACP (Crime) Jayson Forde told the Guardian Me­dia that sev­er­al peo­ple of in­ter­est were ar­rest­ed over the week­end.

He some were re­leased and some were charged and tak­en the courts. He did not re­veal how many peo­ple were charged nor the of­fences. The charges, ac­cord­ing to sources, were in re­la­tion to out­stand­ing war­rants, pos­ses­sion of firearms and am­mu­ni­tion and pos­ses­sion of mar­i­jua­na.

But, well-placed po­lice sources told Guardian Me­dia none of the charges were gang-re­lat­ed.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources, on the heels of last week’s spike in homi­cides, which saw 25 peo­ple mur­dered in one week, an im­me­di­ate crime plan and strat­e­gy based on in­tel­li­gence and tech­nol­o­gy was ini­ti­at­ed through­out all nine po­lice di­vi­sions.

The in­tel­li­gence-led ex­er­cis­es were car­ried out by var­i­ous units and re­sult­ed in seizures of 25 il­le­gal firearms.

Dur­ing ex­er­cis­es in the Port-of-Spain Di­vi­sion, sev­en pri­or­i­ty of­fend­ers and oth­er known of­fend­ers were ar­rest­ed by po­lice of­fi­cers in con­nec­tion with re­cent shoot­ings and firearm of­fences.

The sus­pects were tak­en to var­i­ous po­lice sta­tions for fur­ther en­quiries. Some of them were sub­se­quent­ly charged while oth­ers were re­leased be­cause of lack of ev­i­dence, po­lice said.

Of­fi­cers of the In­ter-Agency Task Force al­so car­ried out sev­er­al search­es and re­cov­ered two firearms and a quan­ti­ty of am­mu­ni­tion.

In the South­ern Di­vi­sion, of­fi­cers of the South­ern Di­vi­sion Task Force and Mara­bel­la Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions De­part­ment con­duct­ed a num­ber of search­es, which re­sult­ed in three firearms, and quan­ti­ties of drugs and am­mu­ni­tion be­ing found. These ex­er­cis­es will con­tin­ue for an undis­closed pe­ri­od.

Last week there were 25 mur­ders - the last two were record­ed on Sat­ur­day night at Mal­oney and Freeport.

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty, Stu­art Young did not re­spond to queries seek­ing his com­ment on the sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion of homi­cides and whether the week­end’s ex­er­cis­es would have con­tributed to it.

Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice, Gary Grif­fith would on­ly say that he was out of the coun­try last week.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic who may have any in­for­ma­tion that will as­sist po­lice in their in­tel­li­gence and ev­i­dence-led op­er­a­tions to con­tact them at 555, 999, 800-TIPS or 482-GARY.

Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

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