Despite heavy criticism levelled against Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith following the seizure in an estimated $22 million from a home in La Horquetta on Tuesday, he says he is unfazed, and will simply continue to do his best to serve citizens of this country.
In a lengthy post on his social media platforms yesterday, Griffith said the criticisms against him have grown over “the last few weeks” and he has noted many voicing their anger, hatred and bitterness towards him.
And while he acknowledged it was the right of citizens to do so, he found the criticisms following Tuesday’s operation troubling.
“When it reached a point of persons voicing their disgust over the terrible act of a Police Commissioner going above and beyond, to investigate and retrieve $22 million in cash, that cannot be accounted for, and when wrongfully returned without confirmation that all of that cash was given via legitimate and law-abiding citizens, I can conclude that the values of many in this country, sum up why we as a nation, have become what we are,” Griffith stated.
He noted that the without a proper investigation, it was not possible to determine if the all the money had been legitimately or legally acquired, or even if some of the cash was being used to facilitate criminal activities.
This kind of cash, Griffith noted, could have been used to help facilitate enterprises to purchase drugs, and even guns, which could then be used on law-abiding citizens.
‘Running my blood to water’
On persons who were claiming he was “targeting poor people” and defending the pyramid scheme by calling it a “sou-sou”, Griffith said: “Persons are also upset with me trying to close a pyramid scheme based on their lie, saying that closing it down is to ‘fight down poor people’, and ‘give the people back their money’.
“Ignorance is indeed a common factor by some, as either based on ignorance or being a crook, how could one sleep at night knowing that you are putting in $10,000 and when given $50,000, it is four to five “other poor people” who would lose $10,000 when the pyramid schemes collapse, and $10,000 turning into $50,000 overnight, becomes ‘your money’. No smart people! It is ‘other poor people’ money that you are taking, but your greed and lack of common sense would prevent you from understanding that.”
He also reacted to claims he was not using the same approach in other sectors of society, saying: “The road march must come up, whereby anytime, one who cannot debate or justify any point, they turn to why not ‘blah blah blah with the 1%’ to justify wrongdoing.
“To these individuals, do you have any shame? Is that what you would expect from your children? But enough of you. If that is your character, and your pleasure is to attack those who try to help you, whilst saying little about those who rob, rape, and try to kill you, that is your privilege.
“In the meantime, I have sworn an oath to protect and serve my country, which is why I have been running my blood to water for two years, putting my health at risk, working 18 hours a day, seven days a week for two years, trying my best to serve my country to the best of my ability, and in return, the specific haters get a sense of accomplishment by referring to me in the worst way they can, and this is okay, but if I call cold-blooded criminals, or those who rape your wife, or kidnap your son, a cockroach, then I am the devil. This sums up our nation.”
How it went down
On Tuesday morning, $22 million was seized at a home along Kathleen Warner Drive, Phase One, La Horquetta.
Nine people were detained as a result of this operation.
The cash was strewn about the home in boxes, and took over 13 hours to be counted.
However, early Wednesday morning, officers at the La Horquetta Police Station were approached by company officials and lawyers, and provided with receipts which purported to account for the money seized.
After the receipts were reviewed and compiled, the money was handed over.
Additionally, eight of the nine people who had been detained on Tuesday morning were released.
Up to last night, only one individual — a 46-year-old man who was said to have been attached to the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force — was in custody.
He had been held with a firearm.
While he had produced a firearm user’s licence, he could not produce the registration for the gun or the ammunition he had in his possession.
Griffith was also unaware of this, as while he was on air, he told citizens none of the nine detained persons had been released, and that he had no intention of releasing the cash any time soon, as investigations could take weeks.
Griffith has since launched an investigation into who gave back the money.
He has called the act “suspicious”, and asked publicly how the decision to give back the money was reached, and how many receipts were viewed by the officers in question.
He has even wondered if any of the officers who gave back the cash could have been involved in the pyramid scheme.
Hours after the money had been released to the people from whom it had been seized, Griffith and his Special Operations Response Team launched another exercise in the community.
However, while the money was not seized again, Griffith indicated that it could be held.