Five police officers, including two senior officers, of the Central Division are now the subject of a police investigation after they allegedly tried to fabricate evidence against four senior members of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT).
The incident comes on the heels of an investigation by the elite unit concerning allegations of bribery and leaking sensitive information against Central Division officers.
SORT is one of the units appointed by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to lead high-profile investigations. The unit has been successful in recovering kidnap victims, uncovering large amounts of guns and drugs. It comprises police and soldiers whose identities are usually concealed.
Senior police investigators said the Central Division officers went to the premises of Sanitec Limited, located at Las Lomas No 2, in Central Trinidad on June 24 at 8.30 am to search for arms and ammunition.
The officers searched the premises and later found ammunition shells that were sorted into at least ten containers, three of which were in a truck and the remainder in an industrial container.
Investigators say the Central Division officers questioned at least eight of the employees as to how they had come into possession of the spent shells and whether there were any live rounds of ammunition on the premises. A senior employee took the police officers to an office and showed them 12 rounds of live ammunition.
After photographs were taken of the premises and shells, the senior employee told police that the company had been contracted to retrieve and dispose of the bullet casings from the shooting range in Chaguaramas. The senior employee also explained to the Central Division officers that the company had been contracted to transport the shells to its premises where they would be sorted and incinerated.
Guardian Media was informed that the company was approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and also locally certified by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA). The company also treats with bio-hazard threats including explosive, chemical, biological and radioactive waste.
The employees of the company who included five Trinidadians, one Cuban, a Venezuelan and a Nigerian were later detained. Police also impounded the truck with the shells.
The employees were taken to Egypt Housing Development in Enterprise where they were kept in a room of a duplex for close to 48 hours before they were taken to the Chaguanas Police Station, investigators said. The employees were only released last Thursday night without charge.
However, a senior officer of the Central Division approached the DPP last Wednesday with information claiming the four senior officers of SORT had been allegedly involved in illegal activities -by transferring ammunition to the company.
According to investigators the Central Division police officers allegedly attempted to coerce the employees to give statements implicating the SORT officers in an alleged corrupt practice.