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Monday 24 June 2019
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[UPDATED] ‘EL CULÓN’ NABBED

Venezuelan gang lord held in Pt Fortin

THE leader of a notorious gang based in the city of Tucupita, Venezuela who is wanted back home for multiple murders, was among eight illegal Venezuelans arrested by police in Point Fortin on Sunday.

The man, nicknamed “El Culón” (big bottom) has been identified as the leader of the notorious Evander gang which operates in Tucupita, the capital city of Delta Amacuro State.

Apart from multiple murders, El Culón is wanted by the Venezuelan authorities for drug trafficking, kidnappings and other offences. He was nursing two gunshot wounds to his stomach when police nabbed him. It is not known if he was shot in Trinidad or in Venezuela.

Up to yesterday, police were awaiting the services of a translator so as to communicate with El Culón and the seven other Venezuelans.

Media sources in Venezuela told Newsday that El Culón is believed to have assumed control of Evander recently after the then leader Miguel Barrada Morales, 28, was killed by Venezuelan police in March. Venezuela media said the gang controls all illegal activities in Altagracia, a community within Tucupita.

Police said that on Sunday, anti-crime exercises were done in South Western Division leading to the arrests of the eight Venezuelans and a Trinidadian. The men are facing charges of illegal possession of arms and ammunition while all except the Trini, face an additional charge of illegal entry into the country as well as failing to report to the nearest Immigration Department.

WOMEN ALSO HELD

In a statement on Sunday night, police said officers searched houses at Warden Road in Point Fortin and arrested a 28-year-old local fisherman and two Venezuelan men, 25 and 26, for having two pistols and nine rounds of ammunition. Police also detained two Venezuelan women and a 15-year-old Venezuelan girl.

They also searched an apartment and found a revolver with four rounds of ammunition and arrested three Venezuelan men there. The report said police went to a forested area at the Cap-De-Ville Main Road where they found two AR-15 rifles wrapped in black plastic with two magazines and 64 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.

Police did not mention the so-called gang leader, but according to a media report from Venezuela, at just 26, he has a long criminal record. One article said: “He is credited with a strong temper, recognising himself as the leader of a group of young men who intend to earn respect from rival organisations.”

All nine detained people remained in custody up to press time. The arrest comes at a time when the government is putting the final touches to its Venezuelans Registration programme.
In April, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced that all Venezuelan nationals in this country will be allowed to register, during a two-week period, from May 31 to June 14. They will be given cards which entitles them to free health care from public health institutions as well as the opportunity to work for up to a year.

Legal and illegal Venezuelans have been asked to come in and register. Young said those who are in immigration detention centres for violating immigration laws will be released and allowed to register.

He said once registered, these Venezuelans will be considered for what is the equivalent to a “work permit exemption.” It would initially be valid for six months and later for another six months.

This story was originally published with the title "V'zuelan gang leader arrested at Pt Fortin" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


Five registration centres are to be set up in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Arima, Cedros and Scarborough from 7 am to 5 pm. Interpreters will be present at each centre.

ONE of the Venezuelans arrested in Point Fortin over the weekend has been identified as the leader of a notorious gang in Tucupita. He is also wanted by the Venezuelan authorities for murders, drug trafficking, kidnappings and other offences.

Nicknamed “El Culón,” the man is believed to have assumed control of the Evander gang after its leader and several associates were shot and killed in March by members of the Venezuelan armed forces, according to media reports.

Police from the South Western Division arrested eight Venezuelans and a Trinidadian on Sunday for different offences such as having guns and ammunition and residing in the country illegally.

The police issued a statement on Sunday night saying police searched houses at Warden Road, Point Fortin and arrested a 28-year-old local fisherman and two Venezuelan men, 25 and 26, for having two pistols and nine rounds of ammunition.

Police also detained two Venezuelan women and a 15-year-old Venezuelan girl.

They also searched an apartment and found a revolver with four rounds of ammunition and arrested three Venezuelan men there.

The report said police went to a forested area at the Cap-De-Ville Main Road where they found two AR-15 rifles wrapped in black plastic with two magazines and 64 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.

Police did not mention the so-called gang leader, but according to a media report in Venezuela, at just 26, he has a long criminal record. One article said: “He is credited with a strong temper, recognising himself as the leader of a group of young men who intend to earn respect from rival organisations.”

All nine detained people remain in custody.

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