Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cops seize $1.2m in ganja in city raids


DRUGS AND ARMS RAID: Senior Supt Cyril Harry, right, head of the Port of Spain Division and Insp Richard Smith examine drugs and ammunition seized during a police raid in the Belmont and St Ann’s area on Wednesday. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

Mark Fraser

An estimated total of $675,000 in marijuana was seized on Wednesday night during a police exercise in the Port of Spain Division. 

The exercise was conducted in the St Ann’s and Belmont areas between 3 p.m. and 11.45 p.m. and was coordinated by Assistant Commissioners of Police Stephen Ramsubhag and Wayne Boyd, with assistance from Senior Supt Cyril Harry, Supts McIntyre and Grant, Insps Birch, Montrichard, and Smith, as well as other officers form the Port of Spain Task Force, Operations Team, Canine Unit, and the CID unit.

During the exercise the officers, acting on information received, went to a bushy area opposite the St Ann’s Hospital. Once there, the policemen searched the area, and they came across a barrel with 86 packets of compressed marijuana. The packets, police said, weighed a total of 44 kilogrammes. In the barrel, the police also found 84 rounds of 9mm ammunition. 

The items were seized, and brought to the Belmont Police Station. 

Three persons who were in the immediate vicinity of the discovery were detained and were expected to be questioned yesterday to determine what link, if any, they had with the barrel of drugs and ammunition.

Also during the exercise, the policemen went to a house in the Gonzales area, where they executed a search warrant in the presence of a 42-year-old man. As they searched the home, they came across 11 kilogrammes of marijuana wrapped in plastic bags. The man was detained and is expected to be charged with possession of the illegal drug for the purposes of trafficking. 

The police officers also seized 22 kilogrammes of high-grade marijuana at a home along Chocolate Alley, Laventille, during the exercise and a 40-year-old man has been arrested and is expected to face trafficking charges as well.

In an unrelated incident, a similar exercise was also being conducted on Wednesday night in the Western  Division. That exercise was led by Senior Superintendent Ishmael David, with assistance from Inspectors Thomas and Dan, among other others of the division. Nine persons were held for various offences, and several fixed penalty tickets were issued to motorists who were in breach of traffic regulations. 

The actions of the officers involved were heavily praised yesterday by ACP Ramsubhag who urged the men and women in the division to continue working hard as the police service moved towards reducing crime and the fear of crime. 

“I want to commend all the officers involved in the exercises, both from the uniformed section, the CID and the various other units who assisted. And I want to thank them for an exemplary performance, and I want to urge them to continue to work as diligently as they are currently working, as we look forward to reducing crime and the fear of crime in this jurisdiction, and in Trinidad and Tobago,” Ramsubhag said. 

Head of the Port of Spain Division, Senior Supt Harry offered similar praises and commendation for the officers involved in the exercises. 

“I want them to know that their efforts, their commitment and dedication to their duty, has not gone unnoticed, and as such, I praise them and want to implore them to continue working towards the strategic goal of the TTPS in reducing crime in this country. In this case, while no firearms may have been recovered, a large quantity of ammunition and drugs were seized and drug activity does encourage violence, as people battle for turf and to protect their dealings. So successful seizures like this, help a great deal in the overall picture, as it will reduce the illegal activities on the streets of this country, and bring relief to the law abiding citizens,” Harry explained.