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Cops bust kidnap ring


Police believe they have infiltrated a major kidnapping ring after the seizure of a cache of arms, genuine army uniforms, bulletproof vests and tie straps, mostly used by tradesmen to fasten devices together.

They also seized fragmentation jackets, which bomb technicians wear to resist shock from blasts.

The items were seized on Monday afternoon by members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). There were no arrests.

IATF officers said it was intelligence information that led them to the demolition site of the apartment complex at Marcano Quarry, John John, Laventille. That area is also known as Beverly Hills.

The army fatigues, police said, bear the regimental numbers of serving soldiers.

Senior army and police officers were up to late yesterday trying to ascertain how the criminal elements got the uniforms.

A spokesman said the soldiers, under whose names the uniforms had been assigned, are to be questioned as investigators are unsure whether the uniforms were reported stolen.

A senior office said they were sure that those responsible for the illegal items were about to commit a kidnapping for ransom.

The senior officer said although there were no arrests investigators were working on certain clues.

He said Snr Supt Lennox Gonzales, Insp Ansley Garrick, Sgt Ricardo Jones and PCs Lake, Martin, Callender and Ali had been doing surveillance in the area for some time.

He said police got information that known criminal elements had been using the demolition site as a hideout camp and, in particular, was using the bushy area to hide weapons and illegal drugs.

The spokesman said IATF officers have been involved in a series of anti-crime operations in Laventille and parts of East Port-of-Spain.

He said, too, that officers taking part in Monday’s raid would receive special commendation for unearthing the cache.

Items seized:

158 rounds of assorted ammunition made up of 5.56, 357, 12-gauge cartridges and 7.62 which can be used in AK-47 assault rifles

One revolver

Half-kilo of compressed marijuana

One channa bomb

Five ski masks

Five army jackets

Five pairs of army pants

Three bulletproof vests

Two fragmentation jackets

Duct tape

Tie straps

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