Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2013 Contents A5
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A 30-year-old Arima man is in hospital after an
early morning shooting near his home in D Abadie
Police said around 9.30 am Andre Beckles, of Reid
Lane, D Abadie, Arima, was awaiting transport at
the corner of his street and the Priority Bus Route
(PBR) when a man walked up to him and fired
several shots. The man then ran off.
Beckles was hit in the abdomen, groin and right
knee. Neighbours came to help and waited with him
until the police arrived.
Beckles was taken to the Arima Health Facility
and was warded in stable condition up to late yes-
Investigators said Beckles was not known to police
and a motive for the shooting has not been deter-
Arima man in hospital
Shooting victim Andre Beckles is carried into a police vehicle by police officers and residents after he was attacked in the vicinity
of Reid Lane, Arima yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Information on gang leaders is passed on
to government officials.
It was then up to government to treat with
the information on those individuals as it saw
fit, including deciding whether contracts should
be awarded, acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams said yesterday.
He was fielding questions from the media
on the $2 million contract awarded to Kenneth
Williams was speaking after the launch of
an anti-bullying campaign at the Police
Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.
Rodriguez was awarded a contract for a
police post on Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain,
which is expected to be opened later this
However, during a tour of the post by
Williams and then acting Prime Minister Dr
Roodal Moonilal last week, Rodriguez denied
he was a gang leader. He described himself
as a "community leader."
Yesterday, however, Williams admitted that
while they had information on gang leaders,
they had problems prosecuting them for illegal
He added: "We have information on all the
"The challenge that we are facing is having
evidence to establish by way of prosecuting
these individuals as gang leaders.
"This is challenging across the globe. It is
not limited to Trinidad. It is a challenge to
address gang leaders."
Pressed on whether the information police
had included Rodriguez, Williams said: "I am
not being specific to any single individual in
any point in time.
"I am saying we have information about all
gang leaders. In the city, out of the city---all."
Asked again whether this would include
Rodriguez, Williams said: "Yes, it would include
Mr Rodriguez. We have information on every
said individual the media highlights."
Williams then again distanced himself from
the award of Rodriguez s contract, asking: "Do
I have control as to who is to be assigned a
contract? I would say yes in relation to the
"And I want to give you the assurance that
we give out contracts; I have given out in
excess of 100 contracts and not a single gang
leader or a gang member has been given out
a contract by the Police Service."
He reiterated he had no control over con-
tracts which were linked to gang members.
On whether the Government was aware of
allegations about Rodriguez s involvement in
gang activity, Williams said the question the
media ought to pose was who had control
over governmental contracts, adding it was
"I would say I passed it on and that is as
far as I am willing to go," Williams added.
National Security Minister Gary Griffith
again distanced himself from Rodriguez yes-
terday, insisting his ministry played no part
in awarding the Duncan Street police post
He also vowed to "pull the plug" on those
who gave contracts to criminals whether gov-
ernment ministers or not.
When he assumed his ministerial portfolio,
Griffith said, he had discovered there were
"persons involved in criminal activity who
had state contracts."
Griffith said he could not speak on behalf
of "government officials or others" who award-
ed the contract for the police post.
"What I am in the position to do is ensure
that any criminal gang leader, gang member
or drug lord who wants to pretend that they
are contractors and acquire state contracts, I
intend to pursue vigorously to ensure these
contracts are removed from these individuals,"
Saying he would not turn a blind eye, Griffith
said he would ensure that taxpayers money
did not fall into the hands of criminals and
he intended to ensure contracts, whether given
by government ministers or not, were awarded
He said: "I certainly did not give any contract
and if it is any government minister gave con-
tacts to any criminals, I totally condemn that.
"What I intend to do is to make use of the
watch list that the police are fully aware of,
based on the intelligence, and it is confirmed
that we know who the gang leaders are and
we know what contracts they have, and I will
pull the rug from under them and take away
Asked to specify whether Rodriguez was
one such gang leader, he declined to identify
individuals. He said he would "definitely not
call names or contracts," but information was
passed on to him from the police.
"But I can say I am fully aware of who the
individuals are. What I need to do is liaise
with the relevant government officials who
have been giving out these contracts and to
ensure it is not done.
"I have no problem if any individual was
previously in criminal activity and has turned
over a new leaf and was awarded a contract."
He said when he became the minister he
"analysed the whole situation" of criminal
activity which included gang-related activi-
ty.Acknowledging there were "cold-blooded
killers" who were using the guise of "com-
munity leaders" to acquire contracts, Griffith
"This must not be a government that would
consider cold-blooded murderers and call
them community leaders.
"They are not community leaders. They are
cold-blooded killers and they would be treated
as such. I have no intention, as the Minister
of National Security, to negotiate with criminal
elements and have a soft approach and give
them fish in the hope that they would turn
away from a life of crime."
He said his current focus was on the spate
of killings in Malabar, Maloney and Arima,
adding what was happening in those areas
was "collateral damage."
He said: "These two gangs having the audac-
ity to be fighting over turf and to get the
other s contracts. They don t understand they
have been given an opportunity to turn away
from a life of crime.
"What I will do is take this opportunity
away from them and ensure that they would
not get any more contracts."
Griffith on 'suspect' contracts:
I'll pull the plug on them
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, left, stands with Sgt Wayne Mystar and ASP
Joanne Archie as they speak to their young president of the Anti-Bullying Campaign, Jeromy
Rodriguez, during the formal launch campaign held at Police Administration Building, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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