By Sue- Wayow
MORE than 100 persons many of whom live in upscale areas in North Trinidad and whose children are from well-known families are detained by police officers for breach of the Public Health Ordinance Regulations.
In a press release by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) on Monday, reported that a raid was conducted at the Residence Night Club at One Woodbrook Place, St James, on Sunday night and all the patrons, the manager, and employees of the establishment will be charged by summons for breaches of the regulations.
Three Venezuelan women who are in the country illegally, were also detained and will be handed over to the immigration authorities, police stated.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said it did not matter where persons live or their social status, they will not find “ a sanctuary for wrong doing.”
The charges which will be laid, will be laid under Section 4 (1) (d) of the regulations which says it is an offence to hold a public party or public fete; Section 3 (1) (a) which says it is an offence for someone to be found at a public place where the number of persons gathered, at any time, exceeds ten and Section 4 (4) (d) which states it is an offence for a restaurant, bar, or establishment, to sell or provide alcohol to its in-service customers.
The TTPS reported that 96 persons will be charged in accordance with Section 3(1) (a), and eight persons under Section 4 (1) (d).
On Friday night, Griffith was notified of a party being held and gave certain instructions to the Western Division Police.
When three police officers responded around midnight and knocked on the front door of the Residence before the door was opened, all the patrons escaped through the back door.
Griffith added that an investigation was underway to determine whether an inspector of police was derelict in her duties when she responded to the report of the party in progress.
Based on how things played out that night, the police allowed over 100 patrons to escape through the back door without charges being laid.
On Sunday night, Griffith was again alerted to a party at the Residence where more than 100 persons had gathered.
This time, Griffith spoke with acting Senior Supt Kelvern Thompson, head of the Western Division. Griffith said a proper exercise was coordinated where both the front and back entrances were blocked by police officers.
Police entered the establishment and detained all the patrons, most of whom live in upscale areas of North Trinidad. There were several foreigners and children of well-known families.
The party was shut down, police stated. Most of the patrons were placed in the Detention Bus and taken to the St James Police Station. The majority of those detained will be charged by way of summons.
In response to social media critics that the TTPS was only raiding zesser parties, Griffith said that in recent times, that has not been the case, the release stated.
He said, “As you would have seen, we raided the Passage to Asia compound where a function was in progress and where 71 persons were charged for failing to wear a mask and for gathering in numbers exceeding ten.
“Once I receive the information, I will act and I really want to thank the public for their assistance over the past weeks. I want to assure you, no matter where you live and your status in life, you cannot find sanctuary for wrong doing. Because of information sent to me and the quick response of the TTPS, several planned parties were aborted and monies refunded from these so-called virtual fetes.”
Sunday night’s raid was spearheaded by Sen Supt Thompson and included Supt Henry, ASP Baird, Inspector Grant, Sgt Carmona and members of the Western Division Task Force, the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), and the Canine Branch.
See below the video released by the TTPS: