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Arrests were a fact-finding mission

PORT OF SPAIN — The 89 people who were taken by police vehicles to varying police stations in Port of Spain during a police exercise on Sunday were part of the Police Service fact-finding mission.

Yesterday, secretary of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association Acting Inspector Michael Seales said all was not lost following the release of 47 suspects on Nelson, George and Duncan streets on Monday.

Twelve more who were arrested on the Thursday before in east Port of Spain were also freed, making it a total of 59 of the 101 arrested.

“Those people who were arrested were able to generate enough intelligence to add more evidence based on what was happening,” Seales said.

The raid took place mere days after residents of east Port of Spain, in an area known as “The Plannings”, cried out for protection by the state as residents complained of being fed-up of the murders, sometimes in broad daylight, along with the nightly and constant crackle of gunfire.

Last Wednesday, 16-year-old cousins Naim Antoine and Rasheeda Gomez were shot dead hours apart. Antoine was buried on Monday and Gomez, yesterday.

The raid on Sunday saw 300 police officers and 100 soldiers in action in the Nelson, George and Duncan streets area.

“Charges would come later when they are re-arrested. They would not be released this time. It was a fact-finding mission in terms of the gathering of evidence,” Seales said concerning the raid.

Seales said the difference between the exercise on Sunday and what happened following the state of emergency in 2011, where all except one of the alleged gang members were freed, was during that time the police were acting on instructions from poli

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