Plan to prevent drugs and guns entering T&T
There will be a maritime lock-down within the year to prevent the inflow of drugs and guns into this country, says National Security Minister Gary Griffith.
In his contribution to debate on the national budget, the recently appointed Minister said that the lock-down will not entail the use of three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) but one long range patrol vessel which was all that was required to secure the country’s economic zone from 12 to 200 miles.
In addition, Griffith said that eight fast patrol vessels will be acquired to protect Trinidad and Tobago’s waters from the border to two miles.
He said the second tier involved the use of naval vessels which will complement the operations of the fast patrol interceptor vessels.
Griffith stressed that a lock-down can only be effective if there is proper communication through an operations centre where all arms of law enforcement can work together.
He said the national security operations centre will be implemented to provide that “operational link” between the police, army, coast-guard, air guard and other arms of law enforcement.
Griffith said that the police and other authorities must be given the tools that they require to successfully combat crime and while there are some “rogue elements” the hard-working officials must be respected for their efforts.
The Minister also disclosed that within the last year over 250 firearms were seized including 68 revolvers, 115 pistols, 19 shot guns, 3 sub machine guns, 9 rifles, 37 home made guns and 6 trap guns.
He disclosed further that over $80 million in marijuana was seized by the organised crime narcotics and firearms bureau.