THREE of the 17 people who were arrested during a police exercise in the Beetham Estate on Wednesday will appear in court today on various offences.
Police said the others are being held for further enquiries and if nothing is unearthed then they would be released, as is their constitutional right.
Among the three to appear in court is a “big fish” who police allege is a gang leader. The man will appear on marijuana-trafficking charges after he was allegedly caught within 500 metres of a school with the illicit drugs.
On Wednesday, officers led by Snr Supt Wayne Boyd, ASP Ajith Persad and Insp Sahadeo Singh went to Phase Five in the Beetham Gardens, commonly called Hell Yard, and began a search around 5 a.m.
Police said several stolen items including clothes and sneakers were recovered and several outstanding warrants were executed.
Several rounds of ammunition were recovered along with marijuana, police said.
In a telephone interview yesterday, ACP Glen Hackett,who is in charge of anti-crime operations, told the Express the suspected gang leader would appear in court along with two other men who are charged with selling alcohol without a licence.
Hackett said the men were picked up on outstanding warrants, obvious offences and reasonable suspicion of committing an offence.
On Sunday, another exercise was conducted in the East Port of Spain area where 89 people were detained.
According to police reports, of the 89, 47 were released, 26 appeared in court on Monday.
Of that 26, 22 were brought to court on outstanding warrants, three on narcotics charges and one for illegally occupying a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) apartment.
Hackett said the remaining 16 were released as investigators could not find substantial evidence to proffer charges against them.
The exercise was deemed a “fact-finding mission” by Ag Insp Michael Seales, secretary of the Police Social and Welfare Association.
During the weekly news briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson said all the hard work of the police would pay off with not just arrests but charges.
One day before, Seales had said many of the detainees who were released would be re-arrested and charges would be laid against them.
The heightened police activity in the Port of Spain Division was triggered following the recent murders of six people within a 24-hour period.
Inclusive of the six murdered were cousins Naim Antoine and Rasheeda Gomez, 16, who was pregnant.
They were both killed by gunmen mere hours apart on August 14 at Duncan Street.
The cousins were both buried one day apart earlier this week.