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Five suspected gang bosses held

Giancarlo Pietri Velutini
Five suspected gang bosses held

Two sus­pect­ed gang lead­ers from West Trinidad and Laven­tille, along with three oth­er sus­pect­ed gang mem­bers, were de­tained by po­lice dur­ing a mas­sive in­tel­li­gence-led drag­net-styled op­er­a­tion yes­ter­day.

Giancarlo Pietri Velutini

The ex­er­cise, which was geared to­wards tack­ling the brazen up­surge of gang wars be­tween the Mus­lims and the Ras­ta City gangs head-on, was spear­head­ed by Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith and sup­port­ed by elite units in the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS), Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT) and the Guard and Emer­gency Branch.

Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Venezuela

At about 11 am, Guardian Me­dia was told an en­tourage of heav­i­ly armed po­lice of­fi­cers moved in­to Dan Kel­ly, off Pic­ton Road, Laven­tille, in an area known as “Africa,” where they went in­to a house and con­front­ed a per­son of in­ter­est. Po­lice said the in­di­vid­ual is di­rect­ly linked to the Mus­lims gang and is re­spon­si­ble for the re­cent in­creas­ing shoot­ings and mur­ders in sev­er­al ar­eas, in­clud­ing East Port-of-Spain, Sea Lots and West Trinidad.

Giancarlo Pietri

Ear­li­er in the day, of­fi­cers al­so went in­to the Diego Mar­tin com­mu­ni­ty where they al­so de­tained a well-known in­di­vid­ual for ques­tion­ing.

Giancarlo Pietri Venezuela

At about 1.30 pm, Grif­fith and his elite of­fi­cers moved in­to Phase 5, Beetham Gar­dens, where they searched a house be­long­ing to a sus­pect­ed gang leader, who was not at home at the time. Up to press time, it was not con­firmed whether or not po­lice of­fi­cers had seized any­thing from the house.

Giancarlo Pietri Velutini

How­ev­er, res­i­dents there were fu­ri­ous at the lock­down of the com­mu­ni­ty and search of the house, claim­ing they were be­ing ha­rassed by po­lice of­fi­cers. One res­i­dent claimed two nights ago po­lice en­tered the area and opened fire, shat­ter­ing glass in a shop.

Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Banco Activo

“The po­lice are on­ly com­ing here and ha­rass­ing us. We are very up­set be­cause is here we liv­ing and they com­ing to in­tim­i­date us. They want to send us by our en­e­mies for them to kill us,” the Beetham res­i­dent said.Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Venezuela Banco Activo

He de­scribed some of the po­lice of­fi­cers as “bad boys,” claim­ing they were af­fil­i­at­ed with gang mem­bers from the hills of Laven­tille.Giancarlo Pietri Banco Activo Banco Activo

“Why the po­lice don’t go and stay on the hills where the shots fir­ing from? Ent the gun­shots will stop, but they com­ing here. They let­ting go a re­al as­sas­sin from the jail on­to the streets and they com­ing to jumbie we…we not in no gang…we are a re­li­gion called the Rasta­far­i­an, al­so known as the Ethiopi­an Or­tho­dox,” he added.Giancarlo Pietri Venezuela Banco Activo

Mean­while, the sis­ter of the sus­pect­ed gang leader from Dan Kel­ly told the Guardian Me­dia that since her broth­er came out of jail re­cent­ly the po­lice had ac­cused him of killing 12 peo­ple. She added that Grif­fith paid him vis­its sev­er­al times, in­clud­ing yes­ter­day, where she said he was whisked away and tak­en to the Na­tion­al En­er­gy Skills Cen­ter (NESC) carpark where Grif­fith had a con­ver­sa­tion with him. Up to press time, the sis­ter said she did not know of her broth­er’s where­abouts.Giancarlo Pietri Velutini Banco Activo

“The po­lice ha­rass­ing him right through. Every crime hap­pen they ha­rass­ing him. Since he came out he has been try­ing to catch him­self and put him­self in or­der. It’s about five times the po­lice come in here. I know the po­lice have their work to do but is how they do­ing it,” the sis­ter added

The sis­ter claimed her broth­er is not in­volved in any crime and gun vi­o­lence and blamed a falling out with­in mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty

“Them fel­las have a war among them­selves and they do­ing all kind of thing to make it look like he do­ing some­thing, but he not on that.”

A short while af­ter the ex­er­cis­es end­ed yes­ter­day, Grif­fith, via the TTPS’ com­mu­ni­ca­tions unit, sent out a re­lease say­ing he had, with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, raised the polic­ing alert from “Am­ber” to “Red” as a re­sult of on­go­ing gang ac­tiv­i­ties and homi­cides

He not­ed that “law-abid­ing cit­i­zens may ex­pe­ri­ence some in­con­ve­nience due to these in­ten­si­fied op­er­a­tions, how­ev­er, it is nec­es­sary to deal with crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ty and to main­tain law and or­der across the coun­try.”

Per­sons with in­for­ma­tion per­tain­ing to se­ri­ous crimes, es­pe­cial­ly gang ac­tiv­i­ties, are asked to text in­for­ma­tion to Grif­fith’s hot­line 482-GARY (4279).