The contraband items seized from the prison officer during the random search on Wednesday 11 August 2021. (Images courtesy TTPS)

A prison officer with eight years’ service was arrested on Wednesday, after he was caught attempting to smuggle in packets of marijuana and cigarettes into the Port-of-Spain Prison.

According to an initial report, the Prisons Officer I, who is assigned to the Port-of-Spain Prison, was searched while on duty, based on intel received by Prison Authorities.

A random search was conducted around 9:30pm on Wednesday 11th August 2021, during which the 35-year-old officer went outside the precincts of the prison and returned with a black bag.

A search of the bag and the officer resulted in prisons officials finding 637 grammes of marijuana, 23 packets of cigarettes and three packets of wrapping paper, the Police Service confirmed.

Also found on the officer’s person were a mobile phone and headsets.

The officer was cautioned, and officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were called in.

He was taken to the Central Police Station where he is assisting police with enquiries. 

He is the fourth officer arrested within four weeks attempting to smuggle contraband into the prisons.

“While the apprehension of traffickers on such a regular basis is casting a negative image of the Prison Service, I am ultimately pleased to get these miscreants out of the system and hope that they feel the full brunt of the law,” Commissioner of Prisons, Dennis Pulchan, told Guardian Media.

“These individuals have no regard for their charges, fellow officers, or their Service, even with the increase in the number of apprehensions,” Pulchan noted, adding that the measures implemented to alleviate trafficking by officers will continue as they have proven extremely effective.