NATIONAL Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds has admitted to being very concerned that a large quantity of TT Regiment-registered bullet casings were found at the of a recent murder and that these ammunition may be in the hands of criminals.
However, he has assured that measures have been introduced to prevent a trend from developing.
Over the past year, spent shell casings have been found at the scenes of shootings and murders bearing the initials “TTR,” which suggests they were issued to the regiment.
In the most recent incidents, 11 spent shells with regiment initials were found at the scene where 49-year-old businessman Nigel Mootoo and his son, Nerkyle Mootoo, 19, were gunned down near their home in Three B’s Drive, Piarco.
On December 18, a spent shell with regiment markings was found at the scene where 38-year-old Akeem Alexander and an unidentified man, were gunned down in Pinto Road, Arima.
Responding to questions from Newsday at the Christmas on the Hill children’s treat on Friday afternoon, Hinds said he is aware that regiment-issued shells have been found at crime scenes and assured that stricter protocols were in place.
He also suggested the discovery of these shells at crime scenes were from before the new measures were introduced.
“Many months ago, as Minister of National Security, I engaged the leadership of the defence force on those issues and action has been taken at the level of the defence force to be more restrictive in the management of its stock.
“I am satisfied based on feedback I received up to yesterday (Thursday) with the Chief of Defence Staff who leads the defence force that that action has been taken and it is possible that what you have seen on the crime scene would have been from some history before recent developments (were enacted) to ensure the system is tighter and that this doesn’t happen.”
Hinds added that corruption is far-reaching in TT and referred to incidents where members of the defence force and other State agencies have been arrested and charged for misconduct.
“Trinidad and Tobago as you know, is a place where corruption is far too common and it exists everywhere, sometimes (even) around the smallest things.”
He said despite these challenges, he is committed to remaining true to his oath to serve the interests of the country.
Credit: Source link