National Security Minister Gary Griffith has said his ministry will be involved in a crackdown on gang members who are recipients of government contracts.
In his contribution to the budget debate in the Senate yesterday, Griffith said, “It has been brought to my attention that they tried to infiltrate Government contracts, Mr President, let me open the Pandora’s box here right now. The Ministry of National Security will now be involved in looking at all aspects of contracts URP or whatever, we’ll be looking at any individual or group in any gang and with immediate effect no gang member who we have on our list will be allowed any contract in the State,” he said.
He listed some of the gangs such as the John John African Nelson Street gang, the Carapo Malabar gang, the Cassava Peace gang, the Maracas/Blanchisseuse /Las Cuevas Connection gang and the Carli Bay/Claxton Bay Central connection gang.
“We know the gangs we know who they are, we have your names, it stops now. What we intend to do is to shut down that avenue, that system that they have where they are getting utilising URP and other contracts to try and feed them in their own trait,” he said.
Griffith also extended condolences to the family of Trinidadian scholar Ravindra Ramrattan who was killed in the terrorist attack in Kenya. Griffith said it showed the importance of having a counter terrorist task force,
Griffith said, “It shows that this can happen any where any time and it shows the importance of us having that counter terrorist task force that can be prepared.”
This anti terrorist unit, he said, would be prepared for any type of hostage negotiation and will also be prepared to “do infiltration to try and extract hostages or any individuals at any time,”.
He said such a unit existed under the former Special Anti Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT) and was still functioning under the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
Griffith added that the K9 unit was also under SAUTT and this “powerful unit” will still be used under the TTPS together with other arms of the protective services in flushing out illegal cell phones at the prisons and monitoring at the airports.