National Security Minister Stuart Young has alleged that a deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) has been in contact with a murder accused who was also involved in the LifeSport project.
He made the allegations in the Senate yesterday during debate on a private motion brought by the Opposition, which condemned the Government for its failure to deal with crime.
“Some of the seeds that was sown in 2010 to 2015 that are leading to the difficulties we face as a society today,” Young said.
He pointed to several decisions made under the previous administration, such as the dismantling of the Special Anti-Crime Unit and the LifeSport fiasco.
“There was murder, lest this country forget, murder came out of LifeSport. Persons were murdered and it mushroomed criminality in the East-West Corridor. A particular area, a person is now incarcerated for the murder of a senior counsel, he was the programme manager of LifeSport. He was signing on behalf of the permanent secretary under a UNC government. The same person who is now in contact with a deputy political leader of the UNC” said Young.
He added: “That is what their answer to crime was and they have the audacity to mislead the population. Lifesport was born and bred by a big mouth person now on the radio,” said Young.
Young said the UNC’s current stance on the borders was also hypocritical giving the decision to scrap the offshore patrol vessels and the dismantling of the facial recognition cameras at the airport.
Earlier, in piloting the motion, UNC senator Saddam Hosein said there was a crisis of confidence in T&T’s business sector regarding the crime situation and the only industry that are expanding now are funeral homes.
Saying he was speaking on behalf of victims of crime, whom he listed, Hosein said there’s a sense of hopelessness among citizens.
“Crime has hit the business sector very hard,” he said.
“Business people are the primary targets of criminals, there’s now a crisis of confidence in the business sector. Some people are going away and foreign investors are fearful of setting up here,” he added.
Hosein said he received information yesterday that a travel site had listed T&T as the “least requested” destination plus there’ve been other travel advisories about T&T.
Accusing Government of lacking solutions including on gender-based violence, he cited increases in crime which occurred during the PNM’s tenure as opposed to the PP Government’s when he said figures were less.
“Yet the PNM is in denial that we’re in a crime crisis,” Hosein said.
Hosein said PNM’s 2015 election manifesto listed security as a priority, but a number of promised innovations haven’t materialised.
“They had enough time, they did nothing and now it’s too late – time has run out on the PNM. But in a few months they’ll come with another (manifesto) of mamaguy and deception,” he said.