Suspects held in an illegal gambling den in San Juan were made to lie on the ground while SORT officers processed the scene on Monday night. Some 61 men and seven women were held during a raid on the building.

Close to 70 people, including alleged underworld figures, are now in police custody after they were held at a gambling den in San Juan just after 11 pm on Monday night for contravening the Public Health Ordinance.

Investigators told Guardian Media that a team of officers from the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) headed by Sgt Mark Hernandez, acting on information, went to a property upstairs the building which houses a Royal Castle outlet. The building is a stone’s throw away from the San Juan Police Substation and the upstairs section once housed a nightclub.

The officers found 61 men and seven women gathered gambling on the premises.

The gathering far exceeded the stipulated number of five people allowed to congregate under the COVID-19 restrictions. Officers have also so far recovered on illegal firearm.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is currently on the scene.

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions which kicked in from Monday, allowing barbers and hairdressers to reopen along with spa and domestic workers allowed to return to work.

The Prime Minister also announced that come June 20 he will allow bars, cinemas and many other activities to resume operations. However, he indicated that public gatherings of only up to ten people would be allowed.

More on this story as news comes to hand.