Police Officers Held on Suspicion of Trafficking in Minors

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 21, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Friday said three police officers and a civilian had been “arrested early this morning on suspicion of being gang members as well as trafficking in persons”.

In a statement, the TTPS said that the homes and the lockers of the three policemen were searched, and among the items seized were cell phones.

“During the exercise, one of the police officers complained of chest pains and was taken to hospital for treatment. The arrest of the four suspects followed a similar exercise on February 10th, 2020, where one policeman and a Venezuelan national were arrested and later charged with various offences,” the police statement added.

It said that the three police officers and the civilian are being questioned about the trafficking of persons, mainly minors, from Venezuela.

Their arrest followed an exercise carried out by the Counter-Trafficking Unit, with the support of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

Police said they had also shot and killed a Venezuelan national in a shootout during the early hours of Friday after he had allegedly used a gun to hold up a motorist and take his vehicle.

Meanwhile, the police said three men will re-appear in a magistrate’s court in east Trinidad on March 19, after they were charged with charged with possession of firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of firearm to endanger life and possession of ammunition to endanger life.

The men – Kyle Barke22, Michael Mc Clean 36 and 22–year-old Miguel Wallen were not called upon to plead and were remanded into custody.

They were held on Thursday following a police-involved shooting incident in the Arima district, east of here.

During the incident, a fourth suspect was fatally wounded by officers. He was later identified as Akiel Kalon Hypolite.

Police said they had recovered two firearms and a quantity of ammunition.

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