Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2018 Contents A4 news
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Police detain 3 more in Carnival plot
The threat to disrupt Carnival 2018 is
still very much on, acting Police Com-
missioner Stephen Williams stated
yesterday as he announced that three
more people are now in police cus-
tody following ongoing investigations
into the matter.
A total of seven adult males have
now been detained with respect to
the threat, Williams said.
That threat, however, is not a "ter-
rorist threat" and did not involve the
Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
(TTPS) unearthing "any threat in re-
lation to any embassy or high com-
mission with a diplomatic presence
in Trinidad and Tobago", he said.
Williams said talk of embassies being
attacked were simply "rumours".
"The threat we speak about is
of unusual criminal acts of varying
forms, including violence," Williams
Williams said the investigation into
the Carnival 2018 threat is a "live
one" and that the TTPS is "doing
everything legally possible to elimi-
nate that threat".
Williams said the investigation into
the matter is being fully led by the
TTPS and that they have not "fully
engaged any external agencies for ex-
The TTPS has not had any direct
presence from the United States in
the investigation, he said.
Speaking at a special media brief-
ing called yesterday, Williams said he
could not say whether the seven men
arrested are Muslim, but gave the as-
surance that no particular group is
Williams, however, said that two
Masjids have been searched by the
Murder accused Rajaee Ali, who
was moved from the Port-of-Spain jail
to the Maximum Security Prison on
Friday, is not a "person of interest" in
the matter, Williams said. (See Page
A5)"At present, the investigators con-
tinue to interview persons detained
and they also continue to pursue the
gathering of evidence with a clear in-
tention to prosecute persons where
suf icient evidence would have been
obtained," Williams said.
DPP being consulted
Williams said the Director of Pub-
lic Prosecutions is being consulted at
Williams said the TTPS and the
Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force
will be out it their numbers to ensure
Carnival 2018 is safe.
"Based on the advances we have
made since the threat was uncovered,
I am in a position to give the public
the assurance that the Trinidad and
Tobago Police Service supported
by our partner agency the Defence
Force will continue to be out in our
numbers at all Carnival venues to en-
sure a safe and secure Carnival 2018,"
Williams said the agencies are
working swiftly to ensure the threat
is dealt with.
"We are moving speedily to treat
with that threat, the Police Service is
out there in numbers, in numbers in-
vestigating and in numbers protecting
and providing a safe and secure envi-
ronment for the citizens and visitors
alike," he said.
He did not disclose if a speci ic
area was going to be targeted for the
threat. Williams urged citizens to re-
main vigilant and say if they see any-
thing strange taking place.
"Any matter which may come to
your attention and which you con-
sider to be strange, unusual, unto-
ward or out of the ordinary, you
should feel free to share those matters
to any police of icer on duty or within
any police station or call 999," he said.
When the TTPS irst informed the
public of the threat on Thursday, four
people were detained. They were still
in custody up to last night.
Williams said there was no ixed
period of time to keep them.
"From the best of my knowledge,
there is no ixed period of time to
keep an individual, what is intended
is that you need to be able to arrest
persons and in a very timely way seek
to prosecute them or release them,"
"At this point in time the investi-
gation is ongoing and we are moving
speedily to conclude the investigation
with the clear intention to prosecute
individuals where we have suf icient
evidence and that is the reason why
we are engaging the DPP on an ongo-
ing basis to guide us on whether we
have suf icient evidence."
•See Page A8
Brit couple flees T&T after armed robbery
British couple Amanda Binns, 40 and
Elias Mark Jr, 33, who were in T&T for
Carnival 2018 were forced to pack up
and return to London with their two
children, just hours after they were
robbed at gunpoint of their phones
and rental vehicle.
The incident occurred on the morn-
ing of February 6, just as they arrived
at a relative's home along Tumpuna
Road in Arima, after attending Machel
Montano's Soca Kingdom concert in
At about 2.20 am, as they exited the
Toyota Rav 4 rental vehicle, two men
approached them. One of the men
"cocked" the gun and pointed it to-
wards Mark's face, demanding that he
hand over his phone or "get shoot".
The men also took Binns' phone be-
fore escaping in the SUV.
Binns' mother is Trinidadian and
Mark's father is also Trinidadian. How-
ever, both are British nationals living
in London, and have two children--a
girl, aged three and a ten-month-old
Speaking with the Sunday Guard-
ian yesterday, Binns described the in-
cident as "traumatic" but at the same
time thanked God that they are alive
today. She said hours after the inci-
dent, she contacted British Airways
and told them of the robbery and
asked to be put on the next flight out
of T&T. They departed that same day.
Binns explained that not only was
she robbed, but she was shocked by
the treatment they received after.
The irst was an issue with the police
about jurisdiction in which the crime
occurred and why they could not take
their report, while the other was the
treatment meted out to them by the
car rental company that operates out
of Piarco International Airport.
"First, when my father-in-law con-
tacted the San Raphael Police Station
they said they couldn't take the report
because it was not in their jurisdiction
and directed us to La Horquetta Police
When Elias went there, La Hor-
quetta police told them it was within
San Raphael's jurisdiction. Here, in
London, people do not go through
that. The police take the report and
then contact whoever else and takes
it from there," Binns said.
"When we went to the rental com-
pany we weren't even asked how we
were doing...all they cared about was
asking us a thousand questions and
were only interested in if we saw what
the gunmen looked like and what they
were wearing, as though they were
They also wanted to charge us
TT$9,000 for the insurance excess,
given the fact that when I booked
the vehicle in November via online
I already paid £900, plus a further
TT$3,000 deposit, when we actually
got the vehicle last Thursday."
Upon her return to London and
still trying to come to terms with the
robbery, Binns took to her Facebook
page and wrote: "People, for those
of you that don't know Trinidad; to
come away from an incident like this,
unharmed, is quite literally, unheard
of. It is not enough for bandits to rob
you; they need to beat you, humiliate
you, rape your wife and murder any-
one they ind in your house, parents,
children, grandchildren and then
murder you too. I
swear to you I am not exaggerating.
This is the state of Trinidad. Crime
over there is violent and it is bloody
and people who are victims do not
walk away from incidents. They are
carried away in body bags."
Binns chose this way of highlight-
ing the robbery on the heels of the UK
issuing a travel advisory to its citizens
because of the heightened crimes and
criminal activities in T&T.
If the robbery had not occurred, the
couple was due to return to London
on February 23. They came to T&T so
that their daughter could have experi-
enced her irst Carnival.
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams during an emergency press conference at the Police Services’
Administration Building in Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
British couple Elias Mark Jr and Amanda Binns who cut their stay in T&T
short after being robbed at gunpoint.
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