Trinidad: 20 held in raid at La Romaine

Members of the Special Operations Unit and Southern Division Police during an exercise in La Romaine yesterday.

(Trinidad Guardian) Po­lice blocked off streets in La Ro­maine, south Trinidad, for more than six hours yes­ter­day dur­ing a raid at a known drug traf­fick­ing zone. They ar­rest­ed 20 peo­ple, in­clud­ing sus­pect­ed gang­sters and drug deal­ers and seized an Uzi sub­ma­chine gun, three pis­tols, 74 rounds of 9mm am­mu­ni­tion, three kilo­grammes of mar­i­jua­na, eight grammes of co­caine and a blue po­lice op­er­a­tions jack­et.

The raid was con­duct­ed by the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Unit (SORT) with aer­i­al sup­port pro­vid­ed by drones de­ployed by the Air Sup­port Unit. Of­fi­cers from the South­ern and Cen­tral Di­vi­sion Task Forces and Ca­nine branch en­tered homes, seized ve­hi­cles and or­der­ing sus­pects to lie on the ground. They blocked off sev­er­al streets, in­clud­ing Charles, Ethel, Claude and By­ron Streets.

How­ev­er, res­i­dents ac­cused the of­fi­cers of abus­ing the sus­pects. Jil­lian Dover said her two sons were among a group of men do­ing con­struc­tion work at a house on Charles Street who were all ar­rest­ed.

“I don’t mind they ar­rest them but they beat one of my sons and his face swell up. I was in church when I heard the po­lice come in here and ar­rest every­one,” she said.

Keino Mar­raster, who was sup­posed to be work­ing at the house, said: “I end­ed up run­ning late to­day. If I was there, they would have locked me up too.”

Mar­raster said the po­lice broke down doors and a woman with a ba­by be­gan to scream.

An­oth­er res­i­dent said her hus­band was tak­ing a morn­ing walk when he was de­tained by the of­fi­cers.

Po­lice left the area af­ter 2 pm but un­der­cov­er of­fi­cers con­tin­ued pa­trols up to late yes­ter­day. The sus­pects are ex­pect­ed to ap­pear be­fore a San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trate to­day on charges of pos­ses­sion of arms, am­mu­ni­tion and nar­cotics.

On Fri­day, Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith an­nounced that with­in 36 hours all gang­sters would be ar­rest­ed.

He al­so warned that any­one who ob­struct­ed the po­lice would be ar­rest­ed.

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