(Trinidad Express) The courts will soon have the power to forfeit the property of gang members.
And persons found guilty of harbouring anyone who has committed a gang-related offence will be fined TT$150,000 or five years imprisonment.
As the Government moves to deal with gun and gang related crime, Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Subhas Panday, on Thursday announced that legislation would be tabled in Parliament designed to deter gang-related criminal activity.
Speaking at Thursday’s post-Cabinet briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, Panday detailed some of the provisions of the bill which would require a special majority in which the support of the Opposition and the Independent element in the Parliament would be required.
Any person who becomes a member of a gang or professes to be a gang member would be tried indictably (not called upon to plead) and given 20 years hard labour, he said.
And the penalty is harsher if the person is a police officer or a member of the protective services. Such a person who is found to be a gang member would be given 25 years hard labour, he said.
Any person who aids, abets or in any way assists in the commission of a gang-related crime will face a whopping TT$500,000 fine or imprisonment for 20 years.
“We want to deal with gang warfare in schools, so we are sending a message to those young gang members that anyone within 500 metres of a school, recruits to a gang a person whom he knows or suspects is a child, commits an offence and is liable to a fine on summary conviction to 15 years,” Panday said.