Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley makes a point during a People’s National Movement post-Budget virtual meeting in Belmont on Thursday night.

Suzanne Sheppard

Two senior officers from the Royal Barbados Police Force are due to arrive in Trinidad and Tobago next week to assist in the investigations surrounding the Drugs Sou Sou (DSS) raid in La Horquetta.

This was confirmed yesterday by National Security Minister Stuart Young, hours after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced he was enlisting the help of foreigners for the probe.

Young said he had also contacted the National Crime Agency in Great Britain (NCA) requesting assistance with the investigations and was awaiting the NCA’s proposal in response to the request.

Young said the Bajan investigators, who are scheduled to arrive some time next week, will join the T&T Police Service (TTPS) on arrival.

During a raid on the DSS’s La Horquetta base on September 22 by the Special Operations Response Team, police purportedly seized $22 million. The money was later stored at the La Horquetta Police Station to allow officers to count it but was returned to DSS CEO Kerron Clarke hours after the seizure without permission from senior officers.

At least three probes were launched into the matter and four officers, including two seniors, were suspended while 11 others were transferred by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on Thursday to allow the probe to continue without and interference.

However, during a People’s National Movement post-Budget virtual meeting in Belmont on Thursday night, Rowley said he had asked the British and Barbados governments for help with investigations into the raid. He said the roles of the T&T Police Service, Defence Force and criminal gangs in the incident now in the public domain were matters of national security.

“I can tell you as head of the National Security Council, I have not had the simplest of answers in that matter. All I can say to you is that as head of the National Security Council I am disturbed, and because I was disturbed … and because of what it means, pointing to and fingering unacceptable levels of corruption in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, immediately I approached the British government, with whom we have a memorandum of understanding dated 2018, to cooperate on matters of national security,” he told supporters.

“I approached the British government for help and we are awaiting British police officers in Trinidad and Tobago on the matter of the Drugs Sou Sou.”

He added, “On the same matter, I approached the Prime Minister of Barbados. As I speak to you now, two senior Barbados police investigating officers are on their way to Trinidad and Tobago and they will form part of a team that will comprehensively examine this matter and find out where, how, whom and why $22 million could have been found by the police, enter a police station, disappear after and nobody could tell the country what happened there and members of the Defence Force could stand up on the front page of the newspapers and telling the country, ‘I am the one organising that’.”

Rowley, who maintained that the DSS is not a sou sou, warned that if the incident was not investigated properly, “it will be a cancer that will eat the soul of this nation.”