St. Lucia News Online:
The St Vincent and the Grenadines police say last year they intercepted two Trinidad and Tobago nationals who had come to the island with a list to murder several people.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Colin John, speaking on a radio programme here on Monday, said that while there are some reprisal killings, most of the recent murders stemmed from other issues.
“We have some aspect of that, but it’s not exclusive or isolated to just gang members killing each other,” he said when asked about a comment by government senator, Julian Francis, last year that many of the murders committed were the result of rival groups killing each other.
“… last year, for instance, we had several crimes that were related to different groups who were fighting against each other. There are others that we have prevented,” he said, noting that the police do not get credit for crime prevention.
He then told radio listeners about the interception of the would-be hit men and what police had done to protect the persons who were believed to have been the targets.
“I don’t know if you can recall last year some persons were taken into custody and then they went to the newspapers and said they don’t want to the police to protect them and things of that nature. It is because we received very good intelligence that persons were about to take them out.
“Last year, we deported two Trinidadians, they came [to the island], and they had a list with the name of persons who they intended to take out. We intercepted them, we have written statements from them and electronic interviews from them saying what they intended to do,’ John said, adding that another person with similar intentions was intercepted here earlier this month.
“I think that one was a Barbadian. We intercepted him; we received credible information that he had come [to the country] to do a hit. His story was that he came [to the island] to buy drugs.
“We charged him for conspiracy to commit the act of drug trafficking. He went to court, he pleaded guilty for that offence. That is just two examples that I am presenting you with.”
John said that the police are always looking at ways of improving the nation’s homicide rate — the number of homicides in which a charge is laid, divided by the total number of crimes recorded.