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Some of the weapons and a homemade explosive detonator seized outside the perimeter of the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca on Wednesday night. SORT officers seized the weapons as they said they averted a possible jailbreak plot that was being planned.

C-4 explosives and three firearms were found buried outside the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca by officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and the National Security Special Operations Group (NSSOG) in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Senior police sources familiar with the find believe that this is part of a more sinister plot afoot by criminal elements within the walls of the MSP and that the law enforcement officers had possibly foiled a jailbreak attempt.

During the search, spearheaded by newly-appointed SORT head, Superintendent Roger Alexander, the explosives were found buried a few feet down in a garden area, near a bamboo patch, according to senior police sources on the scene.

C-4 is composed of explosives, plastic binder, plasticizer to make it malleable and usually a marker or odorizing taggant chemical.

During their search, which came after the team obtained information from a credible source, the officers also uncovered one revolver, two pistols and an AR-15 buried in the dirt. They also found three magazines and at least 27 rounds of assorted ammunition. The crudely-made home explosives were found attached to yellow and red wires.

The MSP houses prisoners who have committed serious offences, including murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery.

Senior police sources told Guardian Media that they were concerned about the find and it is quite possible security will have to be beefed up in and around the MSP with the coordination of prison officials in the coming days.

At least two senior prison sources, speaking on the condition of strict anonymity early this morning, told Guardian Media that for some time, prison officials have been hearing about an attempted jailbreak plot by a notorious gang within the prison walls.

Supt Alexander, who spoke briefly with Guardian Media, said the matter was under investigation at this time. Alexander was appointed to the post of SORT head in late April by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.