GANGSTERS clashed on Tuesday night in East Port of Spain over government contracts in the area, one of which was a contract for a box drain. This was revealed by Police Commissione Gary Griffith on Wednesday at the weekly police press briefing at Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.
Griffith said that on Tuesday night, gangsters from Rasta City, coming from different points on the hills of Laventille and parts of Trou Macaque, descended on people of Mango Alley and began shooting indiscriminately.
“Thankfully no one was killed,” Griffith said.
“These two gangs actually are just a street away from each other.
“And what was the cause of this shooting? The information we received and we can confirm is because of government contracts. One of the contracts is for a box drain.
“So we had a shootout where several people including men and women could be killed over a box drain contract.
“That is what we have reached to.”
The matter was also highlighted in a Guardan newspaper report earlier this week which said seven gangsters were given state contracts over the past three years, amounting to over $6 million.
“When we did the investigation it actually sinks into the home and the root of the problem that we have in this country,” Griffith said.
The commissioner bit at politicians from both parties, saying neither party could blame the other for supplying gangsters with government funding. He also called on citizens to recognise that they are being used by gangsters purporting to be “community leaders.” “I wish you could open your eyes and see that you are being used.
“To the families, to the parents, your families are being used by these leeches, these parasites.
They are using society and getting young men killed for their own benefit.
“And the profit they gain is not for the community but so they could bring in more sophisticated weapons, bring in more drugs and hire more gang members,” Griffith said.
“I need the public’s support on this,” Griffith said, adding his statements are not intended to target anyone.
“This sinks down to the regional corporation and at times members of Cabinet may not even be aware.
“In the US there are over 300 people of interest that may be deemed as terrorists.
“But the US would not give them a contract to paint the White House.
In a release sent to the media yesterday, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government said it viewed the allegations made in the Guardian report and auditors of the ministry are expected to conduct an investigation into who got contracts at each corporation.