T&T to focus on drug kingpins in 2011—Panday

(Trinidad Guardian) Minister in the Ministry of National Security Subhas Panday said yesterday that his resolution for the new year was to go after the big guys in the criminal world. “We should go after the top, centre and bottom. We need a paradigm shift.” Panday said during his long stint in court as an attorney he has seen mostly little people being arrested for two and five grammes of marijuana, a five or ten piece, a rock or an apparatus for using cocaine. “You don’t see people being arrested with ten and 20 kilos of cocaine. “The big man would bring in drugs and distribute to eight men and one of these may be caught.

Subhas Panday
Subhas Panday

“You must go at the top. You can’t be pussyfooting and locking up all these little black boys all the time.”
Panday said the police is really trying and officers from the North Eastern Division made a $10 million narcotics haul recently. He said drugs, guns and gangs go in one package and if the National Security Ministry could deal with them, T&T would be a paradise. Asked if it was not nearly impossible to take down the big guys, Panday replied, “Somebody needs to have the will to do it. “If you don’t, what’s the point of passing laws?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Panday said that the legal options of 27 agents of the Strategic Intelligence Agency (SIA), who were dismissed last week, depended on the terms and conditions of their contracts. “I have not seen the contract. But, for example, some contracts say either party can terminate the contract by serving one month’s notice or be given one month’s salary in lieu of the notice. “Other contracts say a six month notice should be given.” Panday declined any further comment on the matter saying it is a national security issue and it was inappropriate to divulge information on it in public.” The SIA agents were served dismissal letters last Thursday night which were signed by Jennifer Boucard-Blake, Permanent Secretary in the National Security Ministry.

Their dismissal followed information received by top Ministry officials that they were continuing to intercept communication of high profile members of the public, even after legislation was passed, sources said. The 27 agents reportedly said they plan to seek legal advice on the matter and that the Government has to prove that they committed illegal acts.

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