Trinidad PM Says Police Thwarted Assassination Plot

T&T PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar

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.

Speaking at a nationally televised press conference, the  prime minister offered few details of the alleged plot. But she  described it as a “reprisal” for a state of emergency she  imposed three months ago to halt a surge in violent crime tied  to the drug trade.

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.