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Monday, April 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 25th APRIL, 2014
JENSEN LA VENDE
Two main criminal gangs are
responsible for the rash of
killings, extortion and robberies
across the country, says head
of the Criminal Gang and Intel-
ligence Unit Supt Kenrick
In a candid interview from an
undisclosed location with the
T&T Guardian on Friday,
Edwards identified the two enti-
ties as the Muslim Gang and
Rasta City Gang, which he said
had many sub-units scattered
across the country.
In some communities, graffiti
bearing the gangs territory is
Edwards said his intelligence
officers, who operate from a
secret location due to the sen-
sitivity of the operation, are see-
ing a shifting in pattern of oper-
ation from some gang members,
with some of them now invest-
ing their ill-gotten gains to set
up legitimate businesses, such
as real estate companies and car
dealerships, as they seek to laun-
der dirty drug money.
Of the 149 murders so far this
year, police have labelled the
majority of them gang-related.
Edwards said although the
two gangs are in existence and
there are clearly defined leaders,
their sub-units each have their
own leaders who, if need be,
carry out orders on behalf of the
leader of their umbrella gang.
He said the gangs, operating
covertly, use three main methods
to acquire their wealth---drug
trafficking, corrupting public
officials and violence against the
public, through activities like
theft, kidnapping and extortion.
Edwards said the gang culture
operates like an isosceles trian-
gle, with the small head dealing
mostly in drugs and drug traf-
At the bottom there are the
prison gangs and the street
gangs. It is at these levels that
most of the bloodshed occurs.
He said at this level, the gangs
are "less organised" than the
leaders atop the triangle, but the
members still maintain some
level of order.
In an attempt to curb the gang
culture, Edwards said the unit
uses every resource available to
them, including the Interception
of Communication Act which
allows police to monitor tele-
He refused to disclose the
capabilities of his unit, but
maintained it was well equipped
to carry out the necessary sur-
veillance of gang members.
Edwards said he has noticed
a trend in recent times where
victims are being dismembered
by gang members.
Most murders are committed
with firearms which are bought
at a high price, he said. One 9
mm handgun without any
ammunition could cost as much
as $15,000, while the cost of a
more sophisticated assault
weapon could cost close to
$50,000. The gangsters, he said,
are well financed or otherwise
well trusted and some get their
artillery on consignment.
Edwards said 75 per cent of
the gangs operate along the East
West corridor and there are five
criminal gangs operating out of
He added that in the
Caribbean, gangs are known by
their geographical location, so
while a gang may be named after
the street they operate on, they
may also fall under one of the
two overarching main gangs.
As for the cause of all the
gang-related killings, Edwards
said it was simple economics;
they are trying to increase their
After extinguishing the blaze that razed the
home of a physically disabled Claxton Bay ven-
dor, firefighter found his charred remains leaning
on his burnt-out door.
Glen Ramkissoon, 39, a DVD vendor of Mans-
ingh Trace, suffered the ghastly fate shortly around
4.30 pm yesterday.
According to his sister, Ana Ramkissoon, he
would usually secure his home because of thieves
in the area.
She said Ramkissoon was injured in a vehicular
accident 15 years ago, which damaged his foot
and affected his memory.
"I saw his skeleton close to the door, as if he
was trying to come out. He was sickly because
of the accident and he could not work anywhere.
He used to walk with a limp because he had an
accident 15 years ago and he got a lash on his
head. He used to lock the house because it is not
safe in this area, people does thief. I don t know
if he rest the key where he forgot. Sometimes he
used to forget.
"I saw him alive three days before because I
live in St Margarets. I don t know what happened
exactly, but I know he used to drink and smoke.
I don t know if a cigarette fell and it light up. He
was quiet, he was always by himself," Ana said.
Fire officers were yet to determine the cause
of the fire.
An autopsy on Ramkissoon is carded for tomor-
row at the Forensic Science Centre.
And in an unrelated incident, police are inves-
tigating the death of a 14-year-old boy who is
suspected of committing suicide after he was
found hanging at his Reid Lane, D Abadie home
in Arima on Saturday night.
Police said around 11.30 pm, Jameel Miller, was
found dead by his elder sister when she woke up
to use the bathroom. She told police she saw her
brother hanging from a belt which was tied to
some metal rafters.
A hand-written note was found on the cup-
board of the living room. The contents of the
note were not revealed by police.
Gangs shifting to
in house fire
Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott,
seated right, chats with local
novelist Earl Lovelace, second
from left, during the National
Gas Company Bocas Lit prize
ceremony at the National
Academy for the Performing
Arts, Port-of-Spain on Saturday
night. Looking on are winning
authors Kei Miller, left, Robert
Antoni, third from right, and
Bocas Lit festival director and
founder Marina Salandy-Brown.
PHOTO: DARREN RAMPERSAD
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