Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said today the country’s law enforcement officials foiled a plot involving army soldiers and police officers to assassinate her and other government officials.
Security forces “thwarted an evil, devious act of treason,” Persad-Bissessar said. Nearly a dozen people have been arrested in connection with the plot, Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs said.
Law enforcement officials in the country, a leading Caribbean gas and oil producer, have been placed on high alert after discovery of the threat, a police official said.
The twin-island nation, a leading supplier of liquefied natural gas to the United States, has been under a state of emergency since August.
Persad-Bissessar declared the security measure, which suspends some constitutional guarantees and gives the police and military sweeping powers to make arrests, in an attempt to halt what she said was a surge in violent crime tied to the drug trade.
It came in response to a spate of murders blamed on drug trafficking and turf wars over smuggling routes through Trinidad and Tobago, which is a trans-shipment point for South American cocaine headed to Europe and the United States.
Trinidad and Tobago has also faced a growing crime problem linked to heavily armed street gangs.