National Security Minister Gary Griffith said yesterday that he was briefed on the murder of two foreigners and was awaiting further information.
“I got an initial brief from deputy Commissioner Mervyn Richardson and I will be getting more information this evening,” Griffith said when questioned on the matter at Piarco International Airport.
The bodies of the man and woman were found in a forested area in Brasso, Central Trinidad, with multiple gunshot wounds in the head and upper body.
Griffith said that any murder will have a negative impact on this country’s image and he reiterated his commitment to dealing with the criminal elements.
“Which is why we need to circle the wagons and continue to put the necessary policies in place to provide that deterrent...and I continue to stress that at no time the Government will continue to aid and abet criminals in any type of criminal activity which again goes with the concept of gang warfare,” he said.
Griffith said he was willing to work with anyone to curb crime, including Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne.
“In the meantime, if Mr Ian Alleyne has access to information that we can utilise to go after the criminals and for the law enforcement officers to have information to successfully arrest the individuals, well then, so be it.”
Griffith said gang activity must be flushed out.
“We cannot be in support of any type of gang warfare activity and that includes gangs who are trying to utilise and have access to State contracts and utilise those same funds to provide capital to commit further crime.”
Griffith stressed that this financial artery needs to be cut.
Questioned on recent statements about criminal elements getting State contracts, Griffith said: “As the Minister of National Security, my job is to ensure that they do not have it. How they acquired it in the first place, that is not my business.”
He said it was unacceptable for gangs to utilise state funds to build their clientele.
“I have no intention to negotiate, call any meetings, call them community leaders...I see them as criminals, nothing more, nothing less, and they will be treated as such.”
He said mechanisms were being implemented to deter crime.
Griffith said there will be a high visibility of law enforcement, from patrols to rapid response units, the lock-down of borders and proper national security operational policies.