TWENTY men ware arrested yesterday after guns, ammunition, drugs and a police jacket were found during raids at several houses in La Romaine.
The raids involved police from the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), Southern and Central Division Task Forces with the assistance of the Canine Unit. The exercise started at 9 am.
Police recovered a revolver, an Uzi submachine gun, three pistols, 74 rounds of 9 mm calibre ammunition, three kilos of marijuana, eight grammes of cocaine and a blue police operations jacket. Investigators said 11 of the men would be charged with possession of firearms and drugs and face a San Fernando Magistrate this week.
Police also executed several warrants to residents for other criminal offences. Over six streets in the areas were blocked off as the team entered houses armed with search warrants. Residents looked on as the police entered the houses. They told Newsday they were accustomed to seeing police patrols in the area but described yesterday’s operation as “different.”
“They dragged men out of their homes and kicked them on the ground and beat them. And everyone had to just watch. If you come to arrest someone, you don’t have to beat them,” said resident Keino Marraste.
He said police entered a house where men were doing construction work and arrested ten men. “These men were working to provide for their families. They were taken away in a police jeep.”
An emotional Gillan Dover said she wants answers from the police after her sons aged 19 and 25 were arrested. “They beat my boys and then took them into the police car. My boys don’t deserve this. If you come to arrest then do that but don’t beat them,” she cried.
Residents said an a pensioner was also arrested in front his wife. “The woman fainted when she saw her husband in handcuffs,” said a man. Up to press time, the police were still conducting house to house raids.