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Author Topic: Cops News Thread.  (Read 78174 times)

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Offline maxg

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Re: Cops News Thread.
« Reply #330 on: October 11, 2020, 09:37:40 PM »
DSS names crooked cops who collected money
By Mark Bassant, Lead Editor, Investigative Desk

Since last year, T&T Police Service (TTPS) and T&T Defence Force (TTDF) members have profited more than half-a-million dollars in "hush money" from the Drugs Sou Sou (DSS) operations based at Kathleen Warner Drive in La Horquetta.

Their financial reward was not only for the protection of the DSS operations but for their alleged willingness to facilitate corruption and bribery, according to the information given to Sunday Guardian by key DSS insiders.

In a document, DSS insiders pointed fingers at senior TTPS and TTDF officers, naming them and in some cases outlining in detail their roles in facilitating the multi-million dollar operation which is now the subject of at least three probes by TTPS and TTDF hierarchy, after money seized in a raid on the DSS operation, initially said to be $22 million, was returned to its CEO Kerron Clarke by junior officers of the La Horquetta Police Station without authorisation. Later, a DSS insider claimed police had seized as much as $92 million during the operation.

DSS insiders stated that "... the officers are involved in corruption, bribery and much more. This goes high up the food chain. And it seems as though they are untouchable."

Sunday Guardian understands that the information contained in these documents have also been sent to the police for them to investigate the claims.

The DSS insiders explained the inner details of the police officers' roles in helping to ensure the smooth operation of their venture and thwart law enforcement efforts to uncover and bust it. The officers ensured patrols around the clock for the DSS headquarters and in some instances security there.

"(Name of officer of the TTPS executive called) has been part and parcel of the operation and receiving money as payments (to look out and protect DSS) over the period of 2019 and up to this date (name called) has received $240,000 in cash. Not all at once," the DSS document said.

The DSS insiders disclosed that a particular inspector was very close with the TTPS executive officer when it comes to the running of the DSS operations.

"He would oversee and report back to (executive officer) as time goes by. Inspector (name called) would often have patrols set up on a regular basis to ensure that things run smoothly," revealed the DSS document.

Senior police sources told Sunday Guardian that for years, this particular inspector and a TTPS executive member have been suspected of running other illicit operations inside the police service, including extortion, bribery and money laundering schemes.

Another senior officer whom they believe was instrumental in ensuring that the purported $22 million or $92 million seized from DSS was released from the La Horquetta Police Station two Tuesdays ago, just hours after it was seized in the raid, has also been fingered as a major player in ensuring the DSS operations run smoothly.

"(Name of a senior Northern Division officer called) was also part of this operation from the late part of 2019 up to this date. And he received payments of $83,000 during the period."

But the police officers' complicity does not end there.

DSS insiders claimed senior officers handed down instructions to their juniors.

"Junior officers were also involved in such ranks from sergeants, corporals, and police constables. Inspector (named called) would often have someone (lower-ranked officer) pick up the cash and later on disburse it or in other words split it up," the DSS insiders claimed.

The DSS insiders revealed that "sergeants, corporals and constables were paid on a daily and sometimes on a weekly basis at the amount of $2000-$3000 per day."

They alleged that the inspector used a particular business as a front "to cover most of his money schemes."

DSS insiders stated that two TTPS executive officers who were working together to protect their operations have also been working to undermine Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

DSS insiders claimed in the document that "the Commissioner has a mole in his team and he should do due diligence to investigate or even question each of them."

They claimed that they have several phone recordings, videos and photographs that would also be critical in assisting investigators involved in this wide-reaching case.

The document stated, "(TTPS executive officer name called) using the phone number (6******) to have conversations with (TTPS executive officer name called) on (7******). And also (another senior Northern Division officer name called, but phone number not revealed) would have had recent conversations in recent days to undermine the officer of the CoP as soon as he goes on vacation."

Griffith confirmed during last week’s TTPS press briefing that one of the reasons he cancelled his vacation was because they had received intelligence that there was a plot to undermine the service in his absence.

The document further alleged that "phone calls were made to senior TTDF members (one colonel’s name called), three captains (names called), a major and two other seniors (names called)."

The DSS insiders said, "These are all members who are in the cabal."

They did not give further details about the TTDF members but promised that further information about their complicity in the DSS operations would be released in due course.

During the TTPS press briefing on Thursday, Griffith also told the media he cancelled his vacation to ensure the DSS investigation receives his full attention. He said this decision was made after meeting with the Minister of National Security and Police Service Commission (PSC).

Griffith has vowed to bring down corrupt police officers and TTDF members who have been involved in one way or the other in illicit operations surrounding the DSS operations.

Commenting on the matter, Griffith said he appointed DCP McDonald Jacob to lead the investigation. "I appointed DCP Jacob to lead this. The investigation via PSB. The financial via FIB. And the UK team would assist in the legislative arm of the investigation which they are well versed in as it pertains to white collar crime."

Soldier captured on video stuffing cash in crotch: 'Money is mine'

THE SOLDIER who was caught on tape stuffing an envelope into his crotch during a raid at La Horquetta three-weeks ago claims that the envelope did in fact contain a wad of cash, but it was his money, according to investigators.

In a statement to police, the regiment officer who accompanied a contingent of special operations response team officers, to search a house at Kathleen Warner Avenue, said he was merely trying to secure his own money to prevent any allegations of wrongdoing, sources familiar with the probe told Sunday Newsday.

Police found over $22 million in cash at the home of a soldier who operated the drugs sou-sou (DSS) on September 22 but later released the money after they claimed the received instructions from officers of the financial investigations branch of the police.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith was livid after SSA agents told him the money had been returned without his knowledge and approval mere hours after it was seized.

Since then, police intelligence reports claim that a significant number of police, including senior-ranking officers, and soldiers are involved in an intricate money laundering scheme to wash millions of dollars from criminal gangs as part of pyramid schemes.

Unsuspecting people have invested between $3,500 and $10,000 for unbelievable returns within three weeks. Police said the operation at La Horquetta is just one of many similar pyramid schemes operating in the country and have unearthed the names of several high-ranking officers, criminal gang leaders and politicians as they build their case.

The National Security Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, met to discuss the matter, which threatens to destabilise the economy, but police admit they are having a difficult time in getting evidence to support their case.

A plan to request police officers undergo polygraph test after they authorised the release of the $22 million has been reportedly shelved by Griffith as investigators pursue another line of enquiry.

To date, the operators of the DSS cannot tell police exactly how much money is missing from the La Horquetta raid and have not made any complaints of police abuse of power.

Ok...First read the top article...evidence, ppl involved, named, phone numbers, amounts etc..

next article...difficult to get evidence, unknown amounts, unknown people, and a fella was caught on camera was securing he won money..

Lawd have mercy. And we studying Coaches ain't getting paid, and boys not training to be so much less than they they could ever be, Wallace, Hadad and Fifa...look T&T first

Offline Flex

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Re: Cops News Thread.
« Reply #331 on: October 17, 2020, 10:26:16 AM »
Griffith embraces foreign help for DSS probe
By Mark Bassant
Lead Editor, Investigative Desk

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has gone to Ireland on vacation embracing Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley comments about rogue elements in the T&T Police Service and other protectives agencies linked to the Drugs Sou Sou (DSS) investigation and a plan to bring in help from Barbados and the United Kingdom for the probe.

Reacting to Rowley’s decision to invite foreign investigators to help with the case, Griffith, who will be on vacation until November 1, yesterday told Guardian Media, “I welcome the opportunity of what the Prime Minister has done. It would assist me greatly in trying to weed out exactly the rogue elements that have been involved in this situation.

“I have already started the action by suspending certain police officers, reassigning others and we will continue the investigation to verify if it is much more than disciplinary matters that should take place internally within the police service and if criminal charges can be laid.”

During a meeting post-Budget virtual meeting in Belmont on Thursday, Rowley said he was disturbed by the allegations of corruption levelled against police officers and other law enforcement members named in the DSS matter. He said this was the reason why he felt foreign assistance was necessary.

Griffith, who had ordered the suspension of four officers and transfer of 11 others earlier on Thursday, said the foreign officers will be sworn in as Special Reserve Police on arrival and will have the powers of the TTPS officers.

According to information obtained by Guardian Media, the suspended officers were an acting assistant superintendent, acting inspector, acting corporal and a constable. All of them were allegedly involved in providing paid protection to the DSS members and also allegedly had a hand in allowing the purported $22 million that was seized by officers in the September 22 raid on the DSS base to be released back into the hands of CEO Kerron Clarke—without proper checks done to verify the source of the funds.

Griffith agreed with Rowley that this matter was of paramount importance when it came to national security in the country.

“This is a matter of national security concern and the Prime Minister is the chair of the National Security Council. So, this matter is far greater than just a concern as it pertains to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service,” he said.

“This goes straight into possible rogue elements in the protective services. It has been very difficult for me in this investigation because it’s obvious there have been Trojan horses within the police service that have affected this investigation. We have numerous reports of police officers who are still in the service, they continue to interfere and make it difficult for this investigation to proceed. Obviously, it seems people are using their position to cover tracks.”

In a subsequent release, Griffith said having external investigators could ensure a strong degree of transparency. He said he had selected a special team of officers he can trust to work alongside the international investigators to deal with any possible rogue elements in the TTPS and to pinpoint persons outside the Police Service who may be committing serious criminal activity via the DSS.

Over the last few weeks, Guardian Media had reported exclusively about the alleged police and army involvement in facilitating the DSS operations over a period of time and of officers and soldiers collecting protection money for their services.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Cops News Thread.
« Reply #332 on: October 28, 2020, 12:05:22 AM »
UK, Bajan cops co-ordinate 2nd DSS raid
By Mark Bassant
Lead Editor, Investigative Desk

Five weeks after police first raided the Drugs Sou-Sou (DSS) headquarters in La Horquetta, officers of the Professional Standards Bureau and Financial Investigations Branch returned to the venue yesterday and seized millions of dollars, several receipt books and other documents as they intensified their investigations into the matter.

This time, however, the two Bajan police officers and one UK investigator now here on the invitation of the Government to assist officers in the case, were instrumental in co-ordinating the operation, according to Ag Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob.

“They were somewhat of the brainchild in this operation, though they were not there physically,” Jacob told Guardian Media hours after the raid.

Questioned about the UK investigator’s arrival in T&T, since this was not revealed before, Jacob confirmed one of them was already here and on the ground.

“He came just after the officers from Barbados arrived and has been helping since then,” Jacob said.

Asked about the arrival of the other UK investigators, Jacob said they were currently assisting “virtually.”

Guardian Media was told that a Professional Standards Bureau team under Sgt Silver returned to the house where DSS operates, along Kathleen Warner Drive, Phase One, La Horquetta, shortly after 10.30 am yesterday. They later called in members of the Financial Investigations Branch to assist after money was recovered. The officers, armed with the appropriate warrants, spent close to four and a half hours at the house and seized millions in cash, hundreds of receipt books, documents containing line payments to thousands of individuals and other relevant documents.

The cash, seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, was secured by Financial Investigations Branch officers and taken away to be checked and properly verified. This was done to prevent what occurred five weeks ago, when money a purportedly $22 million seized at the site was taken to the La Horquetta Police Station, only to be returned to DSS head Kerron Clarke mere hours later by junior cops at the station unauthorised to do so before the amount and source of the funds could be verified.

The return of the seized money to Clarke during the first raid on September 21 triggered a major investigation by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith with the help of the Professional Standards Bureau and Financial Investigations Branch. This after one member of the raiding unit was caught on video allegedly stuffing money into his uniform and other TTPS and Defence Force members were named as affiliates of the DSS operation who were paid to protect its operations. Four cops were suspended and 10 others transferred during the early stages of the probe by Griffith, who is expected back from vacation in Ireland on the weekend.

Jacob, who is overseeing all the probes in Griffith’s absence, yesterday confirmed they wanted to confirm the figure this time before identifying the quantity.

“It is millions, so the FIB has to count the money, so we cannot say at this point the exact sum,” he said.

Jacob acknowledged that the Financial Investigations Branch and Professional Standards Bureau were working together in the DSS investigation, which is not only looking at why police officers released the seized money in the first raid before it was counted but the TTDF member accused of theft during the raid. Added to this, Financial Investigations Branch investigators are still trying to piece together the DSS’ source of funds and are tracing complex financial trails and banking transactions associated with several banks during their investigation.

A senior investigator told Guardian Media that during yesterday’s operation, Professional Standards Bureau officers called in the Financial Investigations Branch after discovering close to $6 million in cash on the premises. The money was taken to the Financial Investigations Branch headquarters in Port-of-Spain and Clarke, along with lawyer Sio Sookdeo, accompanied them there, where the money was to be checked and verified in Clarke’s presence.

Earlier on, when police arrived at the DSS base, Clarke, clearly perturbed by their presence, live-streamed the raid on Instagram to show officers were there a second time and briefly remarked in the two-minute video, “I am being raided again.”

Several people commented during his live stream.

One person said: “All I want to know is what going on with Tobago.”

Another remarked, “Like Barbados reach,” while another viewer said, “I dunno why I cyar get my money, all yuh police sickening.”

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said Government had sought foreign assistance with the DSS investigation due to the allegations of corruption levelled against TTPS members.

Speaking at a PNM post-Budget forum in Belmont, Rowley had warned, “For a member of the Defence Force to stand up on the front page of the newspaper telling the country I am the one organising this, that is not a sou-sou, that is a threat to the national security of Trinidad and Tobago and if we don’t investigate it properly it will be cancer that will eat the soul of this nation.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Cops News Thread.
« Reply #333 on: February 10, 2022, 12:50:15 AM »
Over 500 cops investigated by PSB in last 4 years

Over the past four years, the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) conducted investigations into the conduct of almost 500 police officers across Trinidad and Tobago.

This was revealed by Acting Snr Supt Suzette Martin head of the PSB during a joint select committee meeting on the performance of the police service on Wednesday.

In addressing public concerns about the police, the performance of the service and ways it can be improved to strengthen public confidence in the police, members of the bureau were asked how many police officers were under investigation.

Martin said 30 per cent of the investigations were launched from complaints lodged by other police officers.

In a breakdown, ASP Ricardo Montrichard said, in 2021, 133 police officers came under investigation. In 2020, investigations into the conduct of 124 officers were started, in 2019, 90 officers and 82 officers in 2018.

Some of the officers being investigated remain on duty and some are on suspension.

He added, “So far for 2021 we have 18 of those matters completing meaning that we had 18 police officers that were charged and placed before the court.

"In 2020 we had 16 matters that would have been completed and those officers also placed before the court. In 2019 we have 23 matters of 23 police officers who were charged and placed before the court and 19 in 2018.

"Of course, there will be other matters where no criminal charges were preferred and those matters are closed with no further police action."

He said most of the police officers were brought before the court on suspicion of misbehavior in public office.

“Then we have corruption under the prevention of corruption act. This is if a police officer engages in taking a bribe or any sort of money to do something that he’s not required to do. We also have instances of perverting the course of public justice. Those are prevalent.

“We must be able to deal with discipline matters in order to prevent criminal behaviour.”

According to the TTPS website, there are over 6,500 police officers in varying ranks stationed throughout the service.

Acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob said police have an up-to-date system that is tracking the progress of these matters before the court involving police officers.

Sgt Amir Mohammed said the main challenge with the operations of the bureau is technological issues with poor quality CCTV footage.

“When we get the footage of police misconduct or otherwise sometimes the footage isn’t clear. Technology isn’t available to have it enhanced so it can be evidence and offenders could be identified.

The extraction of cellphone footage doesn’t happen as fast as needed. In addition to those, we engage the assistance of the Special Investigations Unit to assist with surveillance so we can gather intelligence through that means."

Mohammed said there were mechanisms in place to protect whistleblowers which he believes would encourage other police officers to come forward with information.

The bureau will soon be expanded to become more efficient in dealing with these matters in a more timely way.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.


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