Viewers may have observed the sudden absence of CCN TV6 senior investigative journalist Mark Bassant from television over the past week in a time when he was working on sensitive investigative pieces and news stories which have all piqued national interest.
This is because threats were recently made against Bassant’s life by key underworld criminal elements. According to top National Security sources, these elements want the senior journalist dead, as they were of the view several of the pieces Bassant has done recently were “showing them up”.
“On May 7, I got a call from a very reliable underworld source that certain criminal elements wanted to harm me because of stories I wrote recently that were showing them up.
“I made a report on it. The next day I was liaising with certain police officers involved in a specific investigation, only to later learn from other trusted sources that these same officers who I had spoken to earlier were leaking information about me and what I knew to the said individuals who organised for my demise.
“I informed a high-ranking intelligence source along with another trusted senior intelligence officer about this development,” Bassant said.
“The senior intelligence office later conferred to me in a face-to-face meeting on May 9 that my name was on a hit list together with other persons. In fact, he told me that they had already been given the order to engage the targets, including me, and that the hit against me was starting at $20,000,” Bassant explained.
The intelligence source then advised Bassant to take certain precautionary measures, including having 24-hour security available to him. Bassant then advised management at CCN about the developments and they worked together to have Bassant stay at various locations as an insurance for his safety.
“This entire situation has me angry that journalists, who work on behalf of the people, can be threatened like this.
“And based on the calibre of people involved, in my opinion it is also a frightening indictment on our law-enforcement agency in this country.
“But despite all this, I remain passionate to the cause of uncovering all wrongdoings in this country. I can only wait and see what becomes of this situation because it has a direct bearing on all investigative journalists, not only in this country, but around the world,” Bassant said.
In brief interviews with CCN TV6, both National Security Minister Gary Griffith and acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams confirmed they had received reports death threats had been made against Bassant.