POLICE investigating the leak onto social media of several lists detailing the names, aliases, photos, addresses, affiliation and set task of dozens of gang members are now eyeing their own colleagues with suspicion since such highly-sensitive information could only have come from within the Police Service.
Last week, during the height of fears of reprisal murders by central-based gang Unruly ISIS on the East PoS gang Rasta City, an 11-page list began making the rounds on WhatsApp and other online social media platforms ostensibly to provide information on Rasta City members marked for death by Unruly-ISIS gangsters in revenge for the murders of several Unruly ISIS operatives.
In the wake of the leak, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams detailed a team of officers from the Police Cyber Crime Unit to investigate.
Police are expected to seize several computers assigned to various elite arms of the service as part of their ongoing investigations.
Senior sources said the file containing the information on about 45 people linked to the Rasta City gang could only have come from someone within the Police Service. Sources said that only the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit, Special Branch and the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) have access to this and other lists of gang members.
Apart from the police, very few people within the Ministry of National Security would be privy to these files.
A source from the Cyber Crime Unit said yesterday that investigators will also seize some phones belonging to police assigned to elite units.
Since the list was made public via social media, several people who were identified, including a well-known female PNM activist have publicly denied being a member of any criminal gang. Some of the so-called gangsters, telephoned Newsday to deny being such.
One man said he was charged with possession of a ten-piece marijuana and that matter has since been dismissed, yet he is named as being a gang member. Another said he is a government worker and fears he may lose his job, while a third said all of his colleagues are watching him “funny” since his photo and name made the gangster list.
Most of the people identified as being in the Rasta City gang are from the Beetham Estate. Since the threat of gang war between Rasta City and Unruly ISIS, the police have maintained an around-the-clock presence in several parts of East PoS.
Contacted for comment, ACP (Crime) Irwin Hackshaw confirmed that the Cyber Crime Unit is investigating but said he would not comment further.