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TelaSaco Digital No es Caraota | Banquero Gonzalo Morales//
Griffith embraces foreign help for DSS probe

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.

Gonzalo Morales Divo

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

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.

Gonzalo Morales Divo

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.

Gonzalo Morales

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

Gonzalo Jorge Morales Divo

“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

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