Hinds: No link found between oil spill, cocaine

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds - File photo
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds - File photo

MINISTER of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds says thus far, police investigations have not found any link between the recent oil spill in Tobago and 1.109 kilos of cocaine that washed ashore there.

Hinds was responding to a question in the Senate by Opposition Senator Wade Mark on Tuesday afternoon.

On February 7, the Gulfstream – an overturned barge – was found lodged on a reef and leaking oil 200 metres off the Cove Industrial Park. And on Sunday afternoon, Tobago police found cocaine washed ashore, near Cove Estate, which had an estimated street value of $515,285.76.

Mark asked if the "origin and ownership" of the "white, powdery substance" as well as tactical gear and police uniforms had been identified.

Hinds corrected Mark, saying it was a "solid, creamish substance" which was identified as cocaine.

"That was found, according to the police, some 250m away from the wrecked and yet unidentified vessel that has been widely spoken about within recent times...

"Based on information from the police, on the balance of probabilities, it appears to them thus far – and the matter is still under investigation – that that package that was found was not necessarily related to that vessel."

He added that no police uniforms or tactical gear were found along with the cocaine.

Mark then asked if the cocaine washing ashore was "another manifestation of the complete breakdown of the security apparatus" in Trinidad and Tobago.

However, Senate President Nigel de Freitas said the question did not arise.

Speaking on the Tobago Updates morning show on Monday, Supt Rodhil Kirk also denied any link between the two incidents.

He said, "We don’t have any evidence to support whether in fact that the find is related to the oil spill.

"People have their tendency of sort of having their minds directed a particular way, but so far, we have no evidence that there is any connection even though the item was found in the vicinity.”


"Hinds: No link found between oil spill, cocaine"

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