T&T: Ex-U.S soldier linked to plot
A man described by police as an ex-United States of America soldier was one of four other persons served with detention orders signed by National Security Minister John Sandy yesterday.
Three of those served yesterday with notices of their continued detention were taken to the Remand Yard facility of the Golden Grove Prison, in Arouca while the other two were still being interviewed by detectives.
Up to late yesterday, police had arrested another man in connection with the alleged plot, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson, during a brief telephone interview last evening.
Richardson, however, could not give a definite figure on how many persons were held by police in connection with the alleged plot.
He stated that up to late last evening, 16 persons were served with detention orders signed by Sandy.
The four persons served yesterday have been identified in the detention orders are:
* Ashmeed Mohammed, of 21 Claude Street, La Romain, 64 Charles Street, La Romain and 353 Southern Main Road, La Romain.
According to the detention order, Mohammed is identified as one of the persons behind and alleged plot to destablise Trinidad and Tobago and cause major panic.
• Zaid Abdul Hamid of the corner of Richard Lane, Enterprise and Aping Street, Longdenville, Chaguanas has also been identified as one of the persons behind and alleged plot to destablise Trinidad and Tobago and cause major panic.
• Jason Brown also called Abdool Kareem of 10 William Trace, El Socorro, Road, San Juan, who police said is a former US soldier, has been identified in the detention order as “a person involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the following Government officials, which assassinations were to occur on 24 November, 2011:
(i) Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar;
(ii) Attorney General Anand Ramlogan
(iii) Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr Roodal Moonilal; and
(iv) Minister of Local Government Chandresh Sharma
*Dominic Pitilal also called Jamal of 196 Western Main Road, Cocorite. Pitilal was identified in the detention order as one of the persons behind a plot to destablise Trinidad and Tobago and cause major panic.
Up to late yesterday, Hamid, Pitilal and Brown, were expected to be taken into prison custody while Mohammed was still being interviewed by detectives.
Police were also racing against time to build cases against the men before the State of Emergency comes to and end next Monday. Once charges are not laid against the men and the SoE is not extended by the Government, the detainees will have to be released by prison authorities.
Investigators have been working around the clock to secure statements from detained persons as they build their cases.
Meanwhile, Prisons Commissioner Martin Martinez yesterday confirmed the prisons had between 12 or 13 of the detainees at the Remand Yard facility of the Golden Grove Prison.
Martinez, during a brief telephone interview, said they were expecting four more detainees under with detention orders signed by Minister Sandy up to late yesterday.
He said the detainees, will be treated as remand inmates and similar to those held following the 1990 attempted coup.
The prisons chief added the inmates will be entitled to two visits from members of the families a week and security has been beefed up at the facility and all other prisons since last week.
Martinez said assistance is also being given to the police by other law enforcement agencies.
He said: “We will receive any of the detainees once the relevant documents are legal, regarding their detention, and we are well prepared and all of our facilities are adequately secured.
“I will be liaising with the Minister of National Security so we could identify the most suitable facility where they (detainees) should be held and a threat assessment will also be conducted to determine which facility they should be housed. I can assure you that the necessary safety and security measures are in place in and around our facilities,” he said.