Hours before a decision was taken to charge two policemen with possession of marijuana and firearms, head of Port of Spain CID, Ag Snr Supt Ajith Persad took a decision to disband the Firearms Interdiction Unit (FIU) which was based at Besson Street Police Station and who the two rogue officers were members of.
On Friday last, officers of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau together with the Police Service’s legal department led by Byron Daniel, sought and recovered direction from the office of the DPP to charge the two constables. The two were charged with possession of 140 kilos of marijuana and possession of three illegal firearms. One of the officer had an additional charge of unlawful possession of 12 rounds of ammunition which were found at his Laventille home.
Persad, sources said, ordered the disbanding the FIU and ordered all of its members to report to the CID and Criminal Records Office (CRO), based at police headquarters. The FIU consisted of officers hand-picked to carry out surveillance in an effort to deal with illegal firearms and ammunition.
It was reported that last week Tuesday, two officers left Besson Street police station in a marked X-Trail van without informing seniors where they were going. The officers drove to El Socorro where they picked up a 24-year-old man who is the nephew of a slain drug dealer. The officers drove to the South western peninsula and collected four crocus bags of marijuana worth over a million dollars, three handguns and a quantity of alcoholic beverages.
As the rogue officers were leaving the area, Sgt Shaheed Ali of the South Western Division Task Force, who was leading a team of officers on surveillance and roadblock duties in Rousillac spotted the marked police vehicle with the two officers and a known drug dealer. The officers were stopped and a search of the police van was carried out.
Sources said that although Snr Supt Persad has disbanded the FIU, the efforts of law enforcement to get illegal firearms off the street is in no way diminished and several new strategies have been formulated and implemented. Both Assistant Commissioner Hackshaw and president of the Police Social Welfare Association Ag ASP Michael Seales have condemned the two rogue officers, whose actions have brought the Service into disrepute. The two are expected to appear in court tomorrow.