Trinidad & Tobago Police are responsible for drug trade – Ryan report

T&T Police accused of being responsible for drug trade – Ryan report

March 24, 2013 – Stabroek News – (Trinidad Express)

Stakeholders and informants, both outside and behind prison walls, have accused certain police officers of being bandits.

“Police are frequently accused of being responsible for much of the corruption that exists in the drug economy,” according to the findings of the crime report put together by the five-member committee chaired by Prof Selwyn Ryan to enquire into the cause of criminality in the country.

In its findings on the issues of “Prison Reform, the Justice System and Policing”, the committee reported it was told by informants that they believe that between 30 to 40 per cent of the members of the Police Service were corrupt and that policemen were either “invisible members or associates of gangs or controllers of their activities”.  

The informants said they did not trust the police, and while it was agreed that there were many honest and competent police officers, there was a strong feeling that much is “wrong about the Service and that lawlessness is not only limited to gangsters”.

In one of the papers penned by Dr Ryan entitled “Police is Bandit Too”, he pointed out that police were often viewed as the perpetrators of malicious and unfounded arrests of young blacks who often accuse the police of being “responsible for them being in prison”.

“Quite naturally they are embittered,” Dr Ryan said, adding that the inmates complained that the “police were often responsible for their prolonged stay in the Remand Yard because they were either inept or selective in generating or collecting evidence required for matters to be heard by the court”.

He opined that the system was “ascriptive and partisan in both class and ethnic terms”.

Allegations were also made that the police were often “guilty” of colluding with drug lords, big and small, either by providing tip-offs or giving safe passage to them when drug shipments or other trafficking activities were taking place.

“This it is said, happens at the very top levels of the service as well as at the pedestrian levels of the system,” Dr Ryan reported in his paper on the issue.

He added that allegations were also made about the involvement of some politicians involved in the drug trade.

“It is alleged that some political personalities are silent partners of the big fishes who control the drug trade,” the report said, adding that while the allegations are difficult to prove, many believe they are “true”.

He quoted Catholic priest and social activist Fr Clyde Harvey’s pronouncement on any possible peace between the police and the high-risk communities, saying such a move will not work until the police change the way they interact with members of the communities.

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  • de castro  On 04/05/2013 at 6:54 am

    Surprise ! Surprise !
    Expose them and jail them …with some community service to offset the cost
    of incarseration…with future elections to replace them in the communities.
    Elections locally yearly to replace/re-elect them is they prove
    incompetent/in capable/corrupt or corrupt able.
    Same suggestion for Guyana et al…Wilma Rouseff is facing
    similar dilemma in some Brazilian cities…but she is winning.


  • Cyril Balkaran  On 04/05/2013 at 9:30 am

    One former Prime Minister said that his government cannot deal with the massive Drug Trade in T&T because these Drug Barons, Lords and whoever else that runs the Powerful Drug Conglomerate, pays the police ten times more than their official salaries and that police are humans too. This was said by a sitting PM and was printed in all the daily Newspapers in T&T. The rest is in the Selwyn Rayan Reports and we the people are helpless, so how can we change our interaction with the Mafia within the Police force when they are ready to put us in bodybags if only we the peop;e should dare to speak of what we know about those who are in the Drug Business, So Kamptan its nice to say jail them but first we must catch them in order to send them to jail. The Magistracy, and the entire legal system must first be fixed before we fix the Police system here in T&T.

  • Darius Martinez  On 04/06/2013 at 12:36 am

    Who the hell can you trust?

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