With reporting by
National Security personnel believe they have unearthed a plot to free inmates from the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca with the use of explosives and firearms, after discovering the weapons buried closed to the prison Wednesday night.
Among the things found were C-4 explosives and detonators.
The discovery was made during an operation by officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and the National Security Special Operations Group (NSSOG) just before midnight.
An emergency meeting was called yesterday by acting Commissioner of Prisons Shamshudeen Mohammed to discuss new and improved security measures and to help police ascertain those behind the crime and those targetted for escape.
Police, led by SORT head, Roger Alexander, said they received information that led the officers to the prison around 11:40 pm. A search uncovered the weapons, among which were a nine-millimetre pistol loaded with a magazine containing 15 rounds of ammunition, an AR rifle loaded with a magazine containing 30 rounds of ammunition, a revolver and five rounds of ammunition, a quantity of C4 explosives, a length of detonator cord, four detonators and two walkie-talkies.
The explosives were found buried in a garden, according to senior police officers.
C-4 is composed of explosives, plastic binder, plasticizer to make it malleable and usually a marker or odorizing taggant chemical.
They say the crudely-made explosives were found attached to yellow and red wires.
Police believe the items were to be used in a jailbreak attempt.
They have increased security in and around all the prisons.
Two senior prison sources told Guardian Media that they had been unofficially informed of an attempted jailbreak plot by gang members serving time within the prison.
Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Shamshudeen Mohammed said the find “only goes to show the length these persons will go to destabilising the prison security system and by extension the country’s security system.”
“Our task of housing some of the most dangerous members of society is often difficult and to some, the price for freedom is never too high,” Mohammed said.
He has urged officers to exercise extreme vigilance, especially when off-duty and thanked the police for their efforts in ensuring the prison surroundings were safe.
He also thanked his officers for their continued vigilance.
Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds and President of the Prisons Officers Association Ceron Richards did not answer our calls for comment.
If the jailbreak attempt was successful, it would not have been the first of its kind in recent history.
On July 24, 2015, a jailbreak in Port-of-Spain, resulted in a police officer being shot dead as three inmates used firearms that were smuggled into the prison to shot their way out.
One inmate was shot dead at a security booth in the Port-of-Spain General Hospital minutes later and another was killed by criminals while walking along a street in East Port-of-Spain that night.
The third escapee gave himself up.