Prison officer charged with possession of prohibited articles at Maximum Security Prison

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Prison officer charged with possession of prohibited articles at Maximum Security Prison

The Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service has confirmed that a Prisons Officer with just over twelve years of service was arrested and charged, after he was found to be in possession of prohibited articles at the Maximum Security Prison.

According to an initial report, on August 28, 2023, at approximately 5:30 pm, Prisons Officer I #4354, Perron Gomez, reported for duty at the Maximum Security.

During a routine search at the scanning area by officers attached to the Prisons Interdiction Team, Officer Gomez was found in possession of prohibited articles namely twenty packs of cigarettes.

The officer was cautioned about his action, being a breach of the law, and the Arouca Police was then contacted. Officers of the Criminal Investigation Department visited the scene, and he was subsequently escorted to the Arouca Police Station to assist with inquiries.

On August 29, 2023, Officer Gomez was charged for “Possession of prohibited articles” under Section 8 1 f of the Miscellaneous Provisions Law Enforcement Act 25 of 2019. He was able to secure Signed Bail at the Arouca Police Station in the sum of $50,000.00 and is expected to appear before an Arima Magistrate on October 10, 2023, to answer the said charge.

Commissioner of Prisons (Ag), Mr. Deopersad Ramoutar stated that although he is enthused that the measures implemented to tackle the trafficking issue by officers have proven effective, he is disappointed at how easily the perpetrators can access bail, and in this case, simply Signed Bail as set out by Justice of the Peace Kawal Baoootee.

He noted that traffickers continue to be a menace and disgrace to the organization, and should spend some time ‘locked up’, as they not only put their fellow officers’ lives at risk, but they also overshadow the phenomenal work of the dedicated officers.

Commissioner Ramoutar has reiterated his call since taking office, for the judiciary to do more in assisting law enforcement to bring persons to justice. He said that it is his hope that one day, there will be no trafficking within the prison; but the deterrent to offend must be grave and demonstrated through.