Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 29th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 28TH JULY, 2015
Legal Affairs and Justice Minister Prakash
Ramadhar says the lengthy procurement process
caused a delay in Government s acquisition of
specific electronic equipment for the nation s
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had
said in 2013 the Government would seek to acquire
jammers and grabbers to deal with the use of
mobile phones by prisoners in T&T s jails.
However, the initiative is yet to be implemented
and has been causing anxiety in the wake of several
attacks on prisons officers and last week s incident
in which Allan "Scanny" Martin, Hassan Atwell
and Christopher Selby escaped from the Port-
Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday,
Ramadhar said they were hoping to implement
the electronic security upgrade at the nation s
prisons but said the process was taking longer
He said the jammers and grabbers proposal was
"a highly technical piece of equipment and we
went through the normal process for procurement."
He added as far as he was concerned, however,
the procurement process was "too long."
"As a result of the delays in the procurement
of, not just that, but for full body scanners and
other electronics, the Prime Minister appointed
a crime and justice sub-committee to try and
unlock the gridlock," Ramadhar said.
He said since becoming chairman of the Cabinet
sub-committee dealing with the issue in February
they had advanced and accelerated procurement
He said, however, that he was very dissatisfied
with the length of the processes used by state
agencies "in terms of reports and the actual con-
sideration of technical reports, advice and the
procurement process itself."
Asked how soon he expected to get the equip-
ment, he said: "Within two months we shall have
everything on the ground and operational. Things
will be far better in a short period of time than
they have been for more than a decade.
CCTV footage, recaptured Selby key to case
Prisoners Allan "Scanny" Martin, Hassan
Atwell and Christopher Selby allegedly bro-
kered a million-dollar deal with senior
prison officers to secure their freedom from
the Port-of-Spain prison last Friday.
The two senior prison officers are alleged
to have been directly involved in the plot
that eventually sprung the three prisoners
but subsequently ended in the deaths of
Martin, Atwell and police officer PC Sherman
According to an intelligence source, police
and prisons officials probing the case have
received information that guns, ammunition
and an undisclosed amount of cash were
smuggled into the prison minutes before the
planned escape was executed.
It is believed that the items were smuggled
in during a special visit by a junior prison
The T&T Guardian also received infor-
mation that at the time of the prison break,
one of the key men charged for Dana See-
tahal s, SC, murder was about to get a visit.
A third senior prison officer is also closely
being monitored by security officials for his
possible link to the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen.
It is alleged that this prison officer may
be responsible for smuggling contraband
items, including arms, ammunition, money
and cellphones, into the prison for prisoners
connected to the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian last night,
another intelligence source said the inves-
tigating team was looking closely at seven-
minute video taken from CCTV footage at
the facility which actually shows the identities
of some of the prison officers believed to
have some sort of knowledge that the prison
break was about to go down.
Up to yesterday, several guards at the Port-
of-Spain prison had already been interviewed
by investigating police and prison officials.
A prison source, who wished not to be
identified, yesterday questioned the nature
of the prison break, noting it was too well
planned for the escapees not to have had
help from the inside.
The source said: "If this wasn t planned
how come the prisoners were not handcuffed?
How come no body receipts were made?
"Body receipts are given when one prisoner
is being moved from one section of the prison
to another section. For instance, if someone
comes to visit a prisoner, the name is given
to prison officers at the front section, who
will then call the cell block to speak with
"They will alert the prisoner and give them
time to get ready for the visit. The prisoner
will then be taken out of the cell handcuffed
and brought to another set of officers. There,
a body receipt will be given and the prisoner
handed over to other officers who will escort
him straight into the visitors room."
The source added: "In this case, as seen
in the video circulating on social media, none
of the prisoners were handcuffed. They were
just there having access to guns and the keys
to the main door. This is clear that this was
planned and officers and prisoners knew
about the prison break, no doubt."
CNC3 also last night reported that
moments before the planned prison break
was executed, a high-profile prisoner
approached a senior prison official and told
him to move to avoid allowing Martin and
Atwell s special visits simultaneously. How-
ever, before the prison official arrived down-
stairs, the visits were already happening.
When he attempted to alert his colleagues
to stop them, the men were already shooting
their way out of the prison.
Last Friday at about 12.30 pm Atwell, Selby
and Martin pointed guns at prison officers
on duty. Martin got the keys to the front
gate, which he opened for them to run out
onto Frederick Street.
PC Maynard was shot as the escapees tar-
geted the vehicle he was sitting in. Maynard
subsequently died at hospital.Martin was
later killed by police at the Port-of-Spain
Atwell and Selby escaped but Atwell was
gunned down on Saturday night at East Dry
River, Port-of-Spain. On Sunday, Selby sur-
rendered at the Barataria Police Station.
Members of the T&T Defence Force stand guard outside the Royal Jail along Frederick
Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Extra security measures have been implemented at the
facility in the aftermath of last Friday's jailbreak. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Scanners for jails in
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