PORT OF SPAIN – Minister of National Security Stuart Young has questioned reports of a police raid on the offices of the Trinidad Express newspaper.
According to reports, a team of at least ten members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) arrived at the office shortly after 3 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday and two hours later, two more officers arrived in a heavily tinted vehicle and went into the building.
According to Guardian Media, the officers were trying to obtain documents and information about an article published in the Sunday Express.
The raid is believed to be in connection with a story which said that Acting Police Commissioner Irwin Hackshaw was flagged by three banks for depositing close to TT$2 million in more than 15 personal accounts.
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) had later announced it would launch an investigation into Hackshaw as well as into the alleged dissemination of “sensitive information” by officers attached to the Professional Standards Bureau.
In response, Young said that he was not provided with any information on the action of the TTPS “nor have I been briefed on it”.
“I believe in the protection of the freedom of press as well as the principle of media responsibility and would not condone a breach of either of these two principles. I await the information surrounding this development,” the National Security Minister said in a statement.
Meanwhile, executive member of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers Wesley Gibbings expressed concern about Wednesday’s actions.
“Big police presence at the Express in Trinidad investigating a story published by the newspaper. Have we gone mad?” Gibbings said in a Facebook post.