By Mark Bassant, February 15, 2019
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith arrives at yesterday media briefing at the Police Administration Building, Edward and Sackville Streets, Port-of-Spain. * NICOLE DRAYTON photo
(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — A new plot has been uncovered to assassinate Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith by two incarcerated gang leaders and one of their associates.
Intelligence sources say the contract to kill was connected to the human trafficking bust which occurred last Wednesday.
The information is compiled in a confidential report prepared by the Special Operations Response Team on February 8.
A copy of the report which has been obtained by Guardian Media names of the major players in the plot and their plan to take out the Commissioner with help of shooters based in the Laventille area.
Commissioner Griffith (without mask) leading his a special task force team. * Photo credit: T&T police
One high-ranking intelligence source told Guardian Media they are certain the threat is linked to the human trafficking bust that took place on February 6, in which 19 young Spanish-speaking girls were rescued in West Trinidad and at a Chinese restaurant on Ariapita Avenue.
Some 18 suspects were arrested and remain in custody as police continue to piece together this intricate criminal network.
Mere hours after the sex trafficking bust, a confidential informant reached out to the members of SORT spilling the beans about the plot and why the Commissioner was being targeted.
“Seems based on our information these persons reached out to these gang leaders in jail to ensure that the job to pass out the Commissioner was done,” said a high-ranking intelligence source.
Another reliable source said, “Because we interrupted their criminal enterprise and they now want to silence the Commissioner. We’re talking about powerful and affluent people here,” he said.
The information, the report stated, was extracted from a confidential informant with intimate details about the plot and was titled “Special report: plot to assassinate the Commissioner of Police Grade C,2”.
Intelligence sources who spoke to Guardian Media on the condition of strict anonymity confirmed that the report was forwarded to Commissioner Griffith for his perusal the same day it was prepared.
Guardian Media spoke to Griffith about the confidential report via telephone minutes after he held a media conference yesterday to inform the public about the ongoing police exercises and their crackdown on gang activities and reputed gang members.
“I am aware there has been yet another plan for an assassination attempt on me and I expect this will continue. The more that I decide to peg back criminal elements the more they will be frustrated. As I stated before this is a multi-billion dollar industry there are many toes I am stepping on. Toes may vary from those wearing their pants one foot off from their waistline to those with a Hugo Boss suit. It is irrelevant to me. I will do what is required. I have my job to do they have theirs. If they feel theirs is to take me out it is totally irrelevant to me they could try if they want, it would be an effort in futility,” declared Griffith.
This report came almost three months after a Special Branch report in November last year that Guardian Media reported exclusively on which revealed that the Muslim and Rasta City gangs were planning to take out Commissioner Griffith.
Due to the sensitivity of the information, Guardian Media felt it was in the best interest to only use the first initial of the individuals named in the report.
The report stated that an incarcerated Muslim gang leader had ordered the hit from inside the Maximum Security Prison and had joined forces with a Marabella gang leader who is also behind bars at the Maximum Security Prison to execute this hit.
The report revealed that the reputed Marabella gang leader had recruited an associate “J” also from Marabella to recruit shooters from Laventille for the assassination. The associate, the report states has a sister who resides in the Laventille area that is suspected of falsifying deeds and birth certificates for the purpose of securing bail for detained people and with her help, he would recruit the shooters for the job from that area.
Authorities say they were also aware that the incarcerated Marabella gang leader was using a Digicel cellphone in prison to communicate with his cronies.
The report also lists comments some of the said individuals who are involved in this plot to kill the Commissioner Griffith.
The SORT report stated that the reputed Marabella gang leader had been in a war for turf with his Marabella associate, J, prior to his incarceration.
However, a Port-of-Spain gang leader (full name called) through his mutual association with both men was able to mend their relationship last year, the document said.
The SORT report made five security suggestions (which Guardian Media will keep confidential) on how to deal with this plot quickly and effectively with the hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice.