By Caribbean News Now contributor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Immediately following the shooting death of Dana Seetahal SC in Trinidad, the minister of national security, Senator Gary Griffith launched all-out operations to ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.
Minister of National Security, Senator Gary Griffith launches all out operations following the murder of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal. (Photo: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago)
Griffith advised that, in consultation with the National Security Council, the National Alert State has been raised to Amber.
The minister was emphatic in his statements that there would be no stone left unturned in this investigation and that the government and the state’s security apparatus would not sit idly by and allow crimes of this nature to become the norm, and neither let criminals of this kind have their way in Trinidad and Tobago.
Griffith reiterated that the government, through the ministry of national security, has pledged every resource necessary to the law enforcement machinery of the state and together have collectively given this the highest priority.
Griffith immediately called for the following:
• A meeting of all the intelligence agencies heads to utilise all mechanisms of Intelligence on this matter -- electronic, communications and human;
• A joint heads of security meeting to collate and optimise maximum support of all units, their assets and expertise, to be deployed in full tactical readiness in support of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service;
• Increased air, land and maritime patrols in all areas of interest; stop and search teams and increased road blocks;
• All citizens to abide, cooperate and be tolerant of law enforcement officers in the execution of their duties;
• All citizens to assist the law enforcement agencies, by passing information and reporting any suspicious activity related to Seetahal’s murder;
• Citizens in the strictest of confidentiality to call emergency numbers -- 511 Police 999 Crime stoppers 800-8477 NOC 627-0408;
• The utilization of the private security network to maximise ground support to law enforcement;
• The CCTV footage of all facilities -- private, business, residential and national -- will be thoroughly examined to track and investigate this crime. The national security experts of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the National Operations Centre have already started this process;
Griffith emphasised that it would not be business as usual, and the criminal community would feel the full brunt of law enforcement and the forces of national security regarding this matter.
“We will hunt these criminals down and we will find the perpetrators of this crime!" he said.
Meanwhile, the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) of Trinidad and Tobago expressed its deep concern about the manner of Seetahal’s death and called for a rational response from the authorities aimed at bringing the perpetrators to justice.
According to the ESC, all the information that has been revealed in the media so far points to a highly sophisticated level of crime that has been orchestrated by persons with means beyond the average person and access to assassins with military expertise.
“This creates greater insecurity and new fears in a society already shaken by an unacceptably high murder rate and challenges our security forces to go beyond the knee jerk reactions of terrorizing our marginalized communities along the East-West corridor. Already the immediate response to the crime lacked the emergency approaches which we should have been able to expect in a society that theoretically is mobilized to deal with serious crime,” the ESC chairman Khafra Kambon said in a statement.
The ESC said that the character of the attack and the ammunition reportedly used should certainly have triggered urgent measures aimed at immediate apprehension.
“That having failed, the society needs to see the application of the highest levels of scientific investigation and detection, carefully reviewing all those who would have had motive and the means for this despicable act,” the statement read.