Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has said that a police investigation has determined that no Pfizer vaccines were brought into the country for private use.
South businessman and head of the Fyzabad Chamber Clint Arjoon has said on Wednesday that he knew for a fact that a private medical company had brought in and used the vaccine but the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) yesterday said Arjoon was “unable to provide any shred of evidence, data, documentation, or witness to verify that his statement had any merit” when contacted about it by police officers.
The importation of drugs without the approval of the Food and Drug Division is an illegal act, which is why Griffith said he immediately instructed that officers initiate an investigation to get the facts.
“If this allegation was accurate, then it meant that a very serious crime had taken place.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations and Intelligence), Mc Donald Jacob led the investigation, which involved speaking with Arjoon and the medical facility that he alleged had been using the vaccine.
“He also claimed that he passed on information to the Director of Food and Drugs Division. When the Director was contacted again, he confirmed that it was solely hearsay statements, with the initial businessman stating “that he heard so,” the TTPS said.
“A senior administrator in the said medical facility where the businessman claimed that the drug was received and being distributed also had absolutely no knowledge of the matter,” the TTPS said.
“In summary, the statement made by the individual that made headline news, lacks merit, and is deemed to be false as there is absolutely nothing to substantiate his claim, which has been deemed baseless.”
Griffith said that he welcomed any citizen to conduct their civic duty and bring forward information but warned that there must be a degree of responsibility when public comments are made.
It must not be done on the basis of “rumour, third party comments, he say she say gossip or hearsay amounting to rum shop talk” as it could lead to a waste of police time.
“So a degree of reasonability and not being reckless is strongly advised,” he said in the statement.
On Wednesday during an interview on the TV6 Morning Show, Arjoon said he knew of a medical company that brought the vaccine.
Asked about it later that day, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram said if it was in use and that it was not in the country legally, that anyone with more information should come forward.
Arjoon had confirmed on Wednesday that he gave the name of the company to the CMO and that it was being investigated.