The arrests of several men reputed to be gang leaders last week was done to “disrupt” a potentially hazardous outcome, according to Minister of National Security Stuart Young.
Over the course of last week, Cedric “Burkie” Burke, his son Revaldo Burke, Akani “Dole” Adams, Anton “Boombay” Boney and Quincy Felix were arrested under the Anti-Gang Act and subsequently released after lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus on their behalf.
The increase of murders and gun violence in the Sea Lots, East Port-of-Spain and Carenage is now believed to be directly linked to the ongoing gang rivalry between two main gangs—the Rasta City and the Muslims.
However, police in the Port-of-Spain and Western Divisions fear that the level of the violence is increasing to levels where women and the innocent are being senselessly killed in attacks to send “strong messages” to those on either side of the turf war.
New United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph Mondello, will on Thursday launch a project to empower youth with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and life skills, expose them to positive role models and mentors, and reduce the attractiveness of radicalism and gang membership by offering them hope and opportunity.
The project will be launched at the Success Laventille Secondary School, 35 Eastern Main Road, Laventille.
The US Embassy says the project is a collaboration between the School, US/TT Alumni Association, and the U.S. Embassy.
Police are closely monitoring a disturbing trend whereby gangs are recruiting teenagers to conceal their illegal weapons and narcotics.
The trend was revealed by acting Superintendent Gary Edwards, of the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU) while speaking at the weekly police press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
Edwards said, “A trend has been noted whereby members of several organised criminal groups are using persons without criminal records, especially teenagers, to keep their illegal items for them.”