The arrests of several men reputed to be gang leaders last week was done to “disrupt” a potentially hazardous outcome, according to Minister of National Security Stuart Young.
Over the course of last week, Cedric “Burkie” Burke, his son Revaldo Burke, Akani “Dole” Adams, Anton “Boombay” Boney and Quincy Felix were arrested under the Anti-Gang Act and subsequently released after lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus on their behalf.
Two other men, Ancel “Chemist” Villafana and Kenneth “Spanish” Rodriguez were also arrested under the Anti-Gang Act and charged with minor marijuana-related offences.
Despite the men now all being free, Young believed the police acted on good intelligence.
“Sometimes in operations, you do things that are disruptive so you may have certain intelligence and you know that intelligence is good intelligence, you have to go in and be disruptive,” he said during Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing.
“There is a difference between intelligence and evidence. You need evidence to be able to charge and they may not have reached that stage but certainly, with the disruption factor it also allows the opportunity to garner and extract information that you may not have gotten.”
He said he did not believe the police had overstepped their bounds, as based on information he received they acted within the law.
Reporter: Peter Christopher