Seven persons have been arrested in connection with illegal quarrying activities and breaching the COVID-19 Regulations.

Official police reports state that they were held during an anti-crime exercise conducted earlier this week in the Cumuto district by officers of the Northern Division’s Major Operations Team.

The exercise was conducted between 9:00 and 11:00 am, on Monday 4th May 2020, in the Cumuto forest and included officers of the Operation Strike Back Team, the Inspector of State Lands, as well as personnel of the Forestry Division and Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.

According to police reports, the officers proceeded to an area of land where they observed a group of men operating two excavators, a front loader, and trucks.

The operators were asked to show documentation granting them permission to operate during the COVID-19 Regulations.

It was subsequently discovered by the Inspector of State Lands that the area being excavated was State Lands and no permission had been given by any agency for quarrying to take place.

Forestry officials also indicated that no permission had been granted to destroy trees on the area of land.

Seven men, ages 32 to 65 years—of the Chaguanas, La Horquetta, and Cumuto districts—were arrested in connection with the matter.

Investigations are ongoing.