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Venezuela’s Evander gang leader El Cu­lon arrested in Trinidad and Tobago

By Mark Bassant

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El Cu­lon

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — A man known as “El Cu­lon,” who on­ly re­cent­ly as­sumed lead­er­ship of the Evan­der gang, was one of eight Venezue­lans in a group of nine peo­ple ar­rest­ed on Sun­day in a po­lice ex­er­cise at two hous­es along War­den Road, Point Fortin.

All the Venezue­lan sus­pects, among them two women and a 15-year-old girl, were charged with re­sid­ing in T&T il­le­gal­ly and pos­ses­sion of arms and am­mu­ni­tion. A 28-year-old Trinida­di­an fish­er­man al­so in the group was charged in con­nec­tion with the weapons seizure. Po­lice ar­rest­ed six peo­ple in the first house and three in the sec­ond house.

“El Cu­lon,” along with the Trinida­di­an, are con­sid­ered mas­ter­minds in a string of kid­nap­pings, drug traf­fick­ing, gun run­ning and hu­man traf­fick­ing cas­es.

Se­nior T&T po­lice sources told Guardian Me­dia that “El Cu­lon” is want­ed by Venezue­lan au­thor­i­ties for a litany of cross-bor­der crimes. Po­lice sources said their in­for­ma­tion al­so sug­gests that the Trinida­di­an has helped fa­cil­i­tate the il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties of the Evan­der gang in Trinidad.

Sev­er­al weeks ago in an ex­clu­sive re­port, Guardian Me­dia re­vealed that lo­cal law en­force­ment had raised con­cerns in in­tel­li­gence re­ports about the Evan­der gang and oth­er no­to­ri­ous Venezue­lan gangs in­fil­trat­ing this coun­try. There was al­so cred­i­ble ev­i­dence to sug­gest that the state of Delta Amacuro, in which the city of Tu­cu­pi­ta is lo­cat­ed, was a base from which traf­fick­ers ped­dle con­tra­band in­to Trinidad.

A Venezue­lan source said one month ago the gang’s leader, Evan­der Bar­ral­las and oth­er no­to­ri­ous mem­bers of the gang, in­clud­ing “El Cu­lon,” were in­volved in a shootout with Venezue­lan po­lice in Tu­cu­pi­ta. Dur­ing that shootout, Bar­ral­las was killed and “El Cu­lon” es­caped with gun­shot wounds.

“When we held him (“El Cu­lon”) he had two bul­let wounds to his stom­ach that was still heal­ing,” a se­nior source close to the Trinidad in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed to Guardian Me­dia.

How­ev­er, the se­nior po­lice source said they were hav­ing prob­lems speak­ing to the men and need­ed to get the ser­vices of an in­ter­preter.

“I know that of­fi­cers of the Or­gan­ised Crime and In­tel­li­gence Unit are sup­posed to in­ter­view them but we def­i­nite­ly need to get the ser­vices of an in­ter­preter be­cause of the lan­guage bar­ri­er. So far they have not been charged with any­thing.”

A me­dia re­lease from the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice on Sun­day’s ex­er­cise in Point Fortin made no men­tion of the no­to­ri­ous Venezue­lan gang leader. In­stead, po­lice in­di­cat­ed that South West­ern Di­vi­son of­fi­cers had held eight Venezue­lans and one Trinida­di­an at two sep­a­rate hous­es. They said they al­so re­cov­ered two pis­tols and nine rounds of am­mu­ni­tion at the homes. The re­lease added that dur­ing the ex­er­cise, of­fi­cers al­so re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that led them to a forest­ed area along the Cap-De-Ville Main Road where they found two AR-15 ri­fles wrapped in black plas­tic with two mag­a­zines and 64 rounds of 5.56mm am­mu­ni­tion.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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