FUAD Abu Bakr, leader of the New National Vision (NNV) political party and son of 1990 coup leader Yasin Abu Bakr, said he plans to take legal action against the police following his detention on Wednesday night over reports that his pick-up, TCK 1990, was stolen.
When the police realised the vehicle was not stolen, Bakr was released without charge amidst a few apologies that the Police Service information database was not very reliant as it turned out the number plates on Bakr's pick-up had been duplicated.
Speaking with reporters yesterday shortly after he filed an official complaint at Besson Street Police Station, Bakr said: “I feel that as a citizen my rights were violated...and as a taxpayer, and to be abused in a most ridiculous manner was like...”
He said he and his wife, CNC3 News producer Kristy Ramnarine-Bakr, were heading east along Churchill-Roosevelt Highway around 5.30 p.m. when they heard police sirens behind them, in the vicinity of Beetham Gardens. Bakr said he stopped his grey Nissan Navara and the police came out of their vehicle.
He said he was then told to get out his van, following which the officer told him to place his hands at the side of the van. Bakr and his wife were then taken to the Besson Street station, where they were told that Bakr's van was reportedly stolen as there was another vehicle with the same number plate according to their reports.
Bakr said he opened the bonnet so they could check the chassis number, but they detained him anyway.
He said for almost three hours his wife was unable to use her cellphone to make arrangements to have the certified copy for the vehicle retrieved from his home to be brought to the station.
He said even senior officers passed by as he sat handcuffed and enquired about his being there and, when he explained the situation, they expressed shock and dismay and also told him that sometimes wrong information is entered on to their system. Bakr said he was okay with those officers but the one who arrested him was “extremely aggressive”.
Eventually, his wife was allowed to leave and retrieved the van's certified copy, which she brought back to the station only to be told there was no one present to verify the certified copy.
The copy indicated that the van had been legally purchased seven years ago.
Eventually, Bakr was moved to Central Police Station, on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, and around 11.30 p.m. he was released.