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Friday 21 September 2018
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FRESH WEED PROBE

POLICE confirmed yesterday that they found five grammes of a “plant like material resembling marijua-na” at the Prime Minister’s private residence, prompting Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to order an investigation into the mat-ter.

A report of the find was submitted to Williams at 2 pm yesterday — a day after he said that the police were not in possession of any information on drugs being found at the Prime Minister’s residence. The report, signed by Snr Supt Gould and given to Williams yesterday indicated, that the substance contained in a plastic bag was discovered in the male wash-room of a Gazebo on the western end of the Prime Minister’s residence at Phillipine. The discovery was made by a Special Branch officer on Friday April 19, 2013 at about 8.50 am.

The acting Commissioner stated on Monday night, following a town meeting in Tobago, that police were not in possession of any such information of drugs being found.

However, a release issued yesterday Commissioner believed that, in light of reports emanating in the media about marijuana being found at the PM’s private residence, he requested are port from the Operational Head of Special Branch, Snr Supt Gary Gould.

He also requested a similar report from the head of the CID/CRO, Snr Supt McDonald Jacob to verify the existence of any official police record in relation to the allegation. The Commissioner was advised by Snr Jacob on Monday June 15, of the absence of any official police record of the alleged discovery.

The release from the TTPS also stated, “Given the report now made available to him, the Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation into the matter.” Newsday under-stands that the acting Commissioner was at no time informed, on the day of the marijuana find, about the incident. It could not be ascertained why this information was not relayed to the head of the Police Service but sources revealed that because of the small amount of marijuana found, a report AG COMMISSIONER of Police Stephen Williams would have been made to a police station in the district where the Prime Minister’s residence is located.

Sources also revealed this was done and Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson, who was informed of the drug find, advised that the necessary investigation be carried out and persons interviewed.

It could not be verified if DCP Richardson’s instructions were followed.

Sources also pointed out that Gould was not informed on the day is accessed on a daily basis by employees who work at the Prime Minister’s residence, as well as cleaners and even officers of Special Branch, apart from the Prime Minister’s relatives. Newsday was told that on a daily basis, the area is accessed by more than 40 persons. Contacted late yesterday, former DCP Richardson who has been accused by ILP leader Jack Warner, of being part of a plan to conceal the drug find, said: “I have no comment to make, but if an investigation has been started...I welcome it and let it begin.” Newsday understands that Acting Assistant Commissioner Ainsley Garrick will today put together a team of specially selected officers to probe the issue and this could include interviewing the Prime Minister and all those who may have had access to the gazebo. Sources revealed that on the day of the drug find, construction work was taking place in the yard of the Prime Minister’s private residence. Prior to the announcement that the Williams, Gould, former National Security Minister Gary Griffith and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal all claimed they knew nothing about such a report. The Prime Minister also dismissed the claim of the drug find and advised Warner to take whatever evidence he has to the police and the American FBI.

Newsday attempted to reach the Prime Minister for a comment yesterday but was unsuccessful.

Contacted for comment, Opposition and PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley said the Police Service, “has serious questions to answer.” On the Police Commissioner’s conflicting claims (first saying no report existed and later ordering a probe),Rowley said, “now that the commissioner has spoken twice, all my fears about the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service have been realised.” He said this development could only serve to “further destroy” the public’s confidence in the police as it will fuel the perception there is, “one law for the high and mighty” and “one law for the poor.”

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