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Vernon Paul seeks firm security plan


Self-described former DEA informant Vernon Paul said yesterday he was ready to come home to testify against a number of PNM politicians and a former senior member of the Jamaat al Muslimeen.

But Paul said he was highly concerned with how authorities in T&T will arrange security for him during his stay to give investigators details of his story.

Paul claims that certain politicians and the ex-Muslimeen member were part of a conspiracy to frame UNC members Sadiq Baksh and Ganga Singh on drug and ammunition charges in 2002.

In a telephone interview from Venezuela yesterday afternoon, Paul said acting Sr Supt Errol Dillon, of the Criminal Investigations Department, contacted him yesterday.

It was only on Wednesday that Police Commissioner Trevor Paul appointed a team of investigators, led by Dillon, to probe his namesake’s allegations.

This is a fresh investigation into the discovery of cocaine and ammunition in Baksh’s water tanks.

The new probe followed an exclusive Sunday Guardian report from Venezuela, in which Paul (Vernon) made the allegation of the alleged PNM plot to frame the UNC bigwigs.

Paul said yesterday that he and Dillon spoke on a number of issues relating to the investigation.

He said he felt good that the CoP had appointed a team to investigate his story and that it was a step in a positive direction.

However, he said before making any move to come to T&T, he must seek legal advice and possible representation in Venezuela and at home.

He said Wilfredo Quintero, the Venezuelan who he claimed came to T&T with the boat which was allegedly used to smuggle the 25 kilos of pure cocaine and the ammunition, also wants to come to T&T.

In the first probe, which was done by retired Sr Supt Dyo Mohammed, the cache of arms and ammunition was traced back to the Venezuelan army.

Paul said Quintero is also seeking legal representation and wants proper security measures put in place before travelling to T&T.

Paul said he is also willing and could identify the cocaine, guns and ammunition which he claimed were used in the alleged plot.

He said his security in T&T is his prime concern.

He said he wants to find out from local investigators whether he would be allowed to come home with members of the Guardia Nacional, who have been guarding him.

He said once security matters are sorted out and his legal representation is put in place, he and Quintero will come to T&T.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Paul received two signed statements from Vernon Paul and Quintero.

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