National Security Minister Gary Griffith has taken issue with statements attributed to chief operating officer of the Ansa McAl Group of Companies, Gerry Brooks, about the recent seizure of $644 million worth of cocaine in Virginia, USA.
Brooks was speaking at a company function at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain on Thursday, during which he said that “brand T&T is at risk”.
In a statement to the Express on the matter, Griffith said:
“The business sector and chambers have always been quite productive in their comments, as it relates to security matters affecting the nation, which includes excellent recommendations and constructive criticism.
“What I have noticed, however, is that certain others, thankfully only a handful, who were silent for years prior to May 2010, there was not a sound from them when Trinidad and Tobago on a whole was at risk...but now they are stating that Brand T&T is at risk.
“And now that we are making major breakthroughs by seizing illegal drugs and weapons in abundance, and doing a complete refurbishment of our National Security apparatus, whilst working hand in hand with our international foreign allies as never seen before, all of a sudden, certain persons have discovered their vocal cords and are demanding results.
“Instead of them getting on like prophets of doom with lots of ole talk, whilst trying to throw clandestine political messages, they should get out of the banana republic mode and see such major drug seizures as something positive, because the same thing was happening for years but the criminals were getting away with it, and this affected our reputation even more.
“This seizure would indeed hit those involved in the illegal drug trade very hard and the only persons who should be upset are criminals.
“So instead of being a grim reaper and seeing the glass empty and criticising, I would ask those with the newly-discovered vocal cords to state what do they intend to do to contribute to improve our nation’s security rather than conveniently complain since May 2010. And they should also state if such comments are their personal comments or do they speak on behalf of the group of companies in which they are employed.”