Investigations into a series of gun-related murders and shootings in Port of Spain and environs this past has led to the arrest of seven men.
Three of the suspects have been detained as "priority offenders" in connection to shootings and murders, while the others were held on suspicion of being gang leaders or gang members and drug possession offences. The arrests took place in Port of Spain, Beetham and Sea Lots early this morning and on Friday night.
Port of Spain Division and Inter Agency Task Force officers began an anti-crime exercise from 2 am to 8 am today. In the first arrest, at around 3.30 am, they went to the home of a man, believed to be a "priority offender", on Basilon Street, Port of Spain. He was detained in relation to several shootings in the area. A short distance away, police found and seized a Taurus revolver and three bullets.
An hour later, police went to Main Street, Beetham where they held another murder/shooting suspect and a 21-year-old man.
More than hour later, around 8.40 am, police arrested a third murder/shooting suspect at the fisheries shed on Production Avenue, Sea Lots. Police also went to find two men, also in relation to shootings, at their homes but they were not there.
During the exercise, at about 7 am, police went to the home of a Sea Lots businessman who was detained for questioning in relation to gang activity. He had been previously detained and released on other police inquiries.
While in the area, police were confronted by a man who began cursing and was subdued and arrested when he continued after officers told him to stop. He was taken to Port of Spain General Hospital for treatment for injuries sustained during the arrest. He is expected to be taken into police custody for questioning.
On Friday night, at 7.25 pm, Duncan Street police were on patrol in Nelson Street when they saw a man running along Buildings 51 and 53.
They stopped the man and searched the area where they found a pistol with seven rounds of ammunition.
The 19-year-old man was arrested. Searches also led to the seizure of 49 grammes of cocaine.
These exercises took place one day after National Security Minister Stuart Young held a meeting with the heads of police divisions and defence force to discuss a strategy on how to deal with the upsurge in murders in and around Port of Spain.