November 29, 2021

Relentless commitment to fight crime

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GriffithFrom Trinidad Express

Minister of National Security Gary Griffith reiterated Trinidad and Tobago’s “relentless commitment” to tackling crime locally and in the wider Caribbean region where it can assist.

The assurance was given on Friday to United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, following a courtesy call on the minister at his Port of Spain office.

In a news release from the ministry on Saturday, it detailed that in his discussions with Mabus, Griffith explained that one of his main short-term law enforcement policies involved a security lock-down of T&T’s maritime borders, particularly to stop the movement of illegal weapons and narcotics to Trinidad’s western coastline.

Another issue discussed was the dismantling of gangs and reducing gang warfare in this country. “As a result, we will see the locking down of the maritime borders utilising a combination of assets the ministry will be acquiring within the next fiscal year. These assets include coastal patrol vessels, high-speed interceptors, hovercraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mobile command centres, mobile utility surveillance towers and additional radars, all of which will be linked through the National Operations Centre (NOC), and will provide an effective border control. Once these are successfully implemented, this country as the lead nation for security in Caricom, will then assist other Caribbean nations at a greater level in their efforts at law enforcement,” the release read.

It was also noted that Trinidad and Tobago has been effective in successful joint operations and intelligence-sharing between its international allies, including US, French, British and Caribbean agencies, resulting in US$300 million and US$100 million drug seizure in recent months on vessels leaving the Caribbean destined for Europe.

Mabus expressed how impressive and laudable these initiatives were and noted that his government, through the US Navy, was willing and ready to support T&T’s maritime forces in the areas of training, maintenance, operations and networking. He also noted that the United States is willing to facilitate more of Trinidad and Tobago’s military personnel at its military training institutions. Mabus also indicated that US SOUTHCOM will assist this country by conducting a survey to ascertain the type of training and equipment that is required to secure Trinidad and Tobago’s borders, including a joint approach in the sharing of intelligence between the two nations.

“There also exists the strong possibility of the US government assisting this country in acquiring three naval vessels to further boost the operations of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard…Minister Griffith further discussed with Mr Mabus the full-time assignment of a Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard officer to JIATF–S USSOUTHCOM to ensure the interests of both countries are served,” the release read.

Both parties agreed that there is now a more vital need than ever before for the two countries to explore and expand their relationship, as crime transcends boundaries.


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