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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Police are investigating three lists of dozens of men from east Port-of-Spain accused of being members of the Rasta City gang that were circulated on social media.
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon and acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams confirmed the investigation as they were questioned by media personnel after taking part in a walkabout in Beetham Gardens and Laventille yesterday.
Dillon said: “I myself have seen the photographs and the lists on social media and I can assure you that the Commissioner of Police is in fact investigating this matter.”
While he acknowledged that the issue was brought to his attention, Williams refused to state whether the lists were generated using confidential information gathered by the protective services.
The lists included the men’s names, alias, addresses and their alleged roles in the gang’s factions operating in Beetham Gardens and several communities in east Port-of-Spain. It also included photographs of each alleged gang member, which appeared to be “mugshots” taken when they were arrested by police for various offences in the past.
“Firstly you started by saying that it seems to have come from law enforcement, but we don’t know at this time. The only how we would know is through an investigation to verify the information and then we will be in a position to speak to what are the possibilities,” Williams said.
Asked whether the apparent leak may have an impact on ongoing investigations under the recently reintroduced Anti-Gang Act, Williams said he could not say. “I cant jump to that conclusion and make such assumptions,” Williams said.
Neither gave a timeline for the completion of the investigation.
Questioned over social media reports alleging that there will be a spike in gang violence at the end of Ramadan, on Friday, Williams said he was aware of them but stated that they have no factual basis.
“What I can say is that the T&T Police Service is supported by the Defence Force and we have been working hard in all the communities,” Williams said.