Military: Cease "conspiracy theories" about death of officer Samaroo

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 05:00

The Defence Force is asking members of the public and persons holding "responsible positions" in society to desist from spreading conspiracy theories about the death of Warrant Officer Omar Samaroo.

Samaroo was found shot dead on March 28th at the Cumuto Barracks.

The Defence Force has issued the following statement on the allegations being made public:

"The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) requests that members of the public who are making false and unsubstantiated remarks surrounding the death of Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Omar Samaroo, desist immediately, display greater sensitivity and allow his mourners their right to grieve in peace. WO2 Samaroo died on Tuesday March 28, 2017 and was cremated yesterday at the Caroni Cremation site.

Up to the time of his passing, he served his nation for 27 years as a model soldier with a distinguished and unblemished record of service. The TTDF vigorously denounces the flow of misinformation
being purported by some conspiracy theorists, in particular by certain ‘responsible’ individuals in society, regarding the tragic passing of WO2 Samaroo.

The TTDF wishes to categorically deny these assertions and to request that such generators of ‘fake news’ immediately cease. In addition, the TTDF calls on these individuals to demonstrate greater emotional intelligence and to be cognisant of the anguish and lasting, damaging effects they are causing by such misinformaon, on WO2 Samaroo’s family, friends and his colleagues, all of whom are all
struggling to come to terms with his sudden demise.

The public is reminded that similar to all occasions in the past, the death of any service member which occurs on a military establishment automatically triggers a Board of Inquiry (BOI). Such an Inquiry is a compulsory requirement of the Defence Act and serves as an internal investigation geared towards finding the cause(s) of a serious incident and by extension, improving the organisation's systems, processes and procedures.

The public is also advised that on the occurrence of a death or any other serious incident, a BOI becomes subordinated to the state’s investigation for which the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has jurisdiction. Accordingly, the TTDF continues to fully cooperate with the members of the TTPS who are investigating the death of WO2 Samaroo.

While the Board of Inquiry is still in session, the TTDF at this time can categorically deny the mischievous and irresponsible claims by some, that WO2 Samaroo’s autopsy report indicates multiple
injuries to his body. In fact, the TTDF can share with the public that the autopsy conducted at the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre, has identified the cause of death as being consistent with a single gunshot wound to the head.

There were no other marks of violence or disturbances to his body. In light of the above, the Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier General Rodney Smart calls upon all persons, in particular those who hold responsible positions in our society, “to immediately cease and desist from making spurious and baseless allegations and to be sensitive to the needs of WO2 Samaroo’s family, friends and his colleagues, at this very difficult me of our bereavement”.

The TTDF continues to provide counselling and support to the family and his colleagues and thanks the members of the public for their continued prayers and support."