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$15M DRUG BUST IN TRINIDAD

An es­ti­mat­ed $15 mil­lion of co­caine and mar­i­jua­na were seized in a West­moor­ings apart­ment and five peo­ple were ar­rest­ed yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing a mid­day sting op­er­a­tion by the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team of the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice.

Four of the sus­pects, two women and two men, were ar­rest­ed af­ter the SORT unit stormed Apart­ment 1 at the posh Re­gent Gar­dens com­plex. An­oth­er man, who was al­leged­ly try­ing to get away af­ter re­al­is­ing his co­horts had been held, was ar­rest­ed af­ter po­lice in­ter­cept­ed the BMW he was dri­ving. One re­volver was al­so seized dur­ing the op­er­a­tion.

In­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers last night said in­tel­li­gence had re­vealed that there was a Venezue­lan/Mex­i­can drug car­tel link to the seizure. They said lo­cals re­ceived a ship­ment as re­cent­ly as Mon­day night through an il­le­gal port of en­try and were in the process of prepar­ing the drugs for dis­tri­b­u­tion lo­cal­ly. The sus­pects are al­so said to tran­ship­ment to the Unit­ed States as well as lo­cal­ly.

They said the sus­pects have been op­er­at­ing their il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty in drug dens most­ly in west Trinidad, in­clud­ing Care­nage, Diego Mar­tin and Sea Lots, and have al­so been as­sist­ed by rogue el­e­ments of the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice and T&T De­fence Force.

So­cial me­dia was lit­tered with im­ages of the op­er­a­tion mo­ments af­ter it hap­pened. Im­ages showed the of­fi­cers ar­rest­ing the sus­pects, one of whom is a rel­a­tive of a for­mer part­ner of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young, col­lect­ing the drugs and search­ing ve­hi­cles out­side the apart­ment.

Of­fi­cers searched two parked Nis­san ve­hi­cles, an Almera and Juke for fur­ther drugs and weapons, re­mov­ing pan­elling from the ve­hi­cles as they did so. Snif­fer dogs were al­so called in to as­sist in the search.

Mean­while, out­side the com­pound, a rel­a­tive of one of the men ar­rest­ed told re­porters that he was at home in Diego Mar­tin around 9 am, when one of the fe­male sus­pects came ask­ing for him. She said she then found out via so­cial me­dia that he had been ar­rest­ed. She broke down in tears when she saw more pic­tures of her rel­a­tive bleed­ing af­ter he was sub­dued by po­lice.

The po­lice al­so stopped a ve­hi­cle near the apart­ment com­plex and in­ter­ro­gat­ed its oc­cu­pants af­ter putting all of them to kneel on the pave­ment. They were sub­se­quent­ly re­leased.

The five sus­pects ar­rest­ed in con­nec­tion with the drug bust were said to be in cus­tody at the Four Roads Po­lice Sta­tion last night.

Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith ar­rived on the scene and an­nounced mo­ments af­ter that “hap­py hour over.” He said the lo­ca­tion of the drug bust on­ly served to show he was mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant dent in the drug trade.

“What I am do­ing is cut­ting the food chain, cut­ting the drug trade, the more drugs that I seize the more it is they are go­ing to make mis­takes. The more mis­takes they make, the more I’m go­ing to keep peg­ging them back,” Grif­fith told the me­dia.

“Some­body’s go­ing to have to pay the price for this. That is ir­rel­e­vant to me, my job is cut as many of the il­le­gal drugs that en­ter this coun­try and if it is it makes life dif­fi­cult for them … I in­tend to crip­ple the drug trade, I in­tend to crip­ple the trade of gangs and oth­ers who con­tin­ue to bring in guns and drugs in­to this coun­try.”

Grif­fith ex­plained that the sting was set up af­ter the po­lice re­ceived in­for­ma­tion on Mon­day about pos­si­ble drug ac­tiv­i­ty in the area.

The T&T Po­lice Ser­vice al­so dis­pelled a ru­mour that one of the women ar­rest­ed in the drug bust had in­deed been work­ing along­side the po­lice in the op­er­a­tion, af­ter a fake press re­lease ap­pear­ing to be from the TTPS sug­gest­ed one of the fe­male sus­pects had worked with them to bring down the drug op­er­a­tion. In a re­lease, the TTPS de­nied any­one ar­rest­ed was work­ing with the po­lice and stressed that the ar­rests were made off the strength of po­lice in­tel­li­gence.

Yes­ter­day’s bust comes just eight days af­ter an­oth­er sig­nif­i­cant bust in Val­sayn where 600 kilo­grammes of mar­i­jua­na was seized. One month ago, a sig­nif­i­cant cache of drugs and guns was al­so seized at a home at Munroe Road, Ch­agua­nas.

Ten­ants obliv­i­ous to il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty

Chair­man of the Re­gent Gar­dens Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion David Fran­co said yes­ter­day that res­i­dents of the posh West­moor­ings apart­ment com­plex had no idea of the il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ty go­ing on there un­til po­lice raid­ed the com­pound yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia hours af­ter po­lice seized over $15 mil­lion in co­caine and mar­i­jua­na at the com­plex, Fran­co said news of the drug bust came as a sur­prise to him and no res­i­dent had raised any re­al con­cern about in­di­vid­u­als com­ing in and out of the com­plex.

He could not say who the own­er of the unit which was raid­ed was but al­so said there was no screen­ing process to ob­tain an apart­ment there. He said leas­ing or rental of the apart­ments ul­ti­mate­ly was up to the own­ers, but al­so ad­mit­ted that the state of the re­al es­tate mar­ket of late meant own­ers were no longer as picky about whom to rent or lease to.

“It’s a tough mar­ket. It’s not like be­fore when you could wait for some­one from At­lantic or some for­eign­er. The mar­ket is tough,” he said.

Fran­co told Guardian Me­dia that as­so­ci­a­tion will like­ly re­lease a cir­cu­lar ask­ing own­ers to be more cau­tious when they are rent­ing or leas­ing to in fu­ture.

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3 comments to this article

  1. ramjam

    on December 5, 2018 at 11:44 am - Reply

    to all the “hoity-toity” trini people with your noses up in the air, passing your remarks when there is a jamerican in the news, while we don’t condone criminals from any nation, there is nothing that happen in JA that doesn’t happen in trinidad, and don’t say jamaicans that y’all been harassing at your airport bring those type of crimes to trinidad.

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  2. Official Latty/Troll Dem

    on December 5, 2018 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Shouts out to pussy sellers. Fi sell likkle fuck naaaa give yuh dem prison time here. Rishrush yuh fool nuh bumbo, but yuh nuh fool suh. If some a dem gal yah feel likkle jail fuss mi nuh tink dem hudda duh dis.

  3. Trini

    on December 5, 2018 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Ram jam- hush yuh cu*t. Hoity toity where? Everybody know Trinidad is the place for drugs and guns. We close to South America and unfortunately have very porous borders. All over the Caribbean has crime, not one island is above the other. So rock back with the nonsense you talking. Is because of ignorant people like you the Caribbean cannot unite.

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