Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 22ND JUNE, 2015
Commissioner of Prisons Sterling
Stewart is advising his fellow prison
officers to be vigilant after members of
the service received substantial infor-
mation about a hit man who was hired
to "kill" several prison officers.
Prison officers claimed the "hit man"
was allegedly hired by fellow inmates at
a price of $50,000 a head to "eliminate"
officers who were involved in a recent
raid and lockdown of the facility in Arou-
ca.Up to late yesterday the names of only
three prisons officers said to be named
in the hit were released.
The T&T Guardian was reliably
informed that the information was so
troubling that there was a high-powered
meeting yesterday between acting Com-
missioner of Police Stephen Williams,
Stewart and other stakeholders to "inves-
tigate and deal with the matter."
Prisons officers said the hit man was
allegedly hired after last week s search
and lockdown at Golden Grove Prison,
Arouca, in which five guards and some
25 prisoners were allegedly wounded.
Prisons officers said they were now liv-
ing in fear since they claimed the hit man
had already carried out a couple attacks
in the last couple days but their colleagues
On Sunday night, gunmen allegedly
kicked down the door of a probation offi-
cer who lives in Sangre Grande and who
was on duty during the prison search.
Luckily, the probation officer was not at
home at the time of the invasion. The
houses of three other guards were also
shot at by gunmen this past weekend.
The hit man, who was a former inmate,
reportedly lives in central Trinidad. Photos
of the alleged hit man have since been
circulated among the guards, warning
them that the former inmate could be a
possible attacker. The photos eventually
surfaced on social media.
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Stewart confirmed he was given reliable
information concerning the situation.
Stewart said he had heard about the
hit man and was now very concerned
about the welfare of his officers.
"Yes I heard about it, the rumour was
circulating among the officers. It came
from an extremely reliable source.
"I want other agencies to be aware of
the fight against crime and the safety of
our country. I am encouraging officers to
be extremely vigilant at this time," he
He said prison officers were dedicated
to their work and he congratulated them
for their performance amidst resistance
while performing their duties last week.
"While we were carrying out our lawful
duty we started to get resistance when we
carried out the search. We discovered a lot
of contraband although we met with resist-
ance," he said of the lockdown exercise.
JENSEN LA VENDE
Following a violent confrontation between
prison officers and prisoners at the Remand Yard
section of the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca, last
week, prisons officers have been staying away
from work, inmates claimed yesterday.
They reached out to the T&T Guardian yesterday,
claiming mostly junior officers, who are on a two-
year probation, have been reporting for duty since
the incident last week.
Sources said some of the senior officers not
reporting for work included members of the "A
Batch" who were involved in the confrontation with
Religious services have also not taken place since
the fracas, prisoners claimed.
The inmates claimed that half of yesterday s 1
pm to 1 pm shift turned up for duty. They claimed
the superintendent and his assistant, along with
the Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, identified as
Ramoutar, Phillip and Alexander respectively, have
been supervising the recently passed out prison
Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday,
Prison Officers Association secretary Gerard Gordon
said he was unaware of the situation, adding if
there was mass absenteeism from seniors, forcing
junior officers to work, they would still have to be
supervised as they could not work on their own.
He said he also had no confirmation that all religious
activities had been cancelled.
But a prisons officer told the T&T Guardian that
yesterday s Jehovah s Witness service, scheduled
for the afternoon, was cancelled, along with the
Seventh Day Adventist meeting scheduled for yes-
terday morning. All religious services have been
temporarily suspended, the source said.
Since the incident officers of the Emergency
Response Unit have been on standby and have taken
up residence in the prisons officers lounge. The
officers leave the lounge only when the prison is
"closed for the day" and all inmates are in their
Last Tuesday night, Muslim inmates at the
Remand Yard said a group of mask-wearing, baton-
wielding and shield-bearing prisons officers stormed
a section of the prison predominantly housing Mus-
lims and launched an unprovoked attack.
The following morning around 6 am, the inmates
retaliated, resulting in five prison officers and five
inmates being injured. During the night raid some
20 inmates were reportedly injured.
of sickout by seniors
After guards' homes shot up over weekend...
Prisons boss wary of hit man
A prisons officer closes the main gate of the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca, last week, hours
after authorities were forced to lock down the facility due to a confrontation between
officers and prisoners. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Noting some recent media reports,
Stewart also said he wanted to make it
clear that the organisation did not have
a problem with members of the Muslim
community within the system.
"We want people to stop making
statements that we are targeting
Muslims. We are not against any
religion. We treat all humans the same.
"If you treat us with respect you get
respect. Do unto others as you would
have them do to you," he said.
General secretary of the Prisons
Officers Association, Gerard Gordon,
meanwhile, reiterated his call for more
to be done for his colleagues.
"This is just a perfect example of the
extreme risks involved in being a prison
officer in T&T, where you can loose your
life just being an officer. That is
unacceptable," he said.
Efforts to contact acting CoP Williams
were unsuccessful yesterday as he did
not return calls to his mobile phone.
Also contacted yesterday, however,
acting Deputy Commissioner of Police
Anne Marie Alleyne said she was
unaware of the situation.
"Members of the Prisons Service
should make a report about that matter.
I am not sure if a report was made," she
said when told of the situation.
Attempts to contact Minister of
Justice Prakash Ramadhar, under whose
ministry the prisons service falls, were
'NO ISSUE WITH MUSLIMS'
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