NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young said yesterday he had police evidence that a sitting Member of Parliament has met with criminal elements at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel on the Port of Spain Waterfront.
Young caused a stir in the Lower House during debate on the The Bail (Amendment) (No 2) Bill, 2019, as he said he had a report from the Special Branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service about a recent incident involving the MP and known criminals.
Young said the TTPS keeps the National Security Council and the Ministry of National Security updated on what is happening in the country.
Describing three reports as the “most disturbing any national security minister could read”, Young said there was an incident earlier this month, where certain elements caused a disturbance at the Hyatt.
The hotel’s security detail called police and the MP, he said.
Young said the MP was called because the criminals said they were there to meet that person.
Young said the MP showed up and not only paid for drinks ordered by those people, but also said, “You were supposed to meet me...”
“I don’t make up anything,” Young said.
Young said the MP admitted meeting the criminal elements.
He said the police had gathered evidence that the Hyatt was a meeting point “on many occasions”.
This drew objection from Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who said Young was imputing improper motives with all 16 members of the Opposition bench in the House at the time.
He knocked Young for a “carte blanche” statement that was “not acceptable”. “We are not in that, whatsoever,” Gopeesingh said.
Cross-talk then prompted House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George to warn Members to be mindful of their location.
Young said some constituents may not know the boundaries and parameters of Parliament. He said: “But you have other types constituents that you have to please.”
Young read another report which he said spoke of “disturbing conversations” between a sitting Member and a person who was “behind prison walls”.
Young said the discussion had to do with strategy for elections and involved a “notorious gang leader” as well as a promise of contracts worth $14 million after the local government election on Monday.
The minister said he questioned why any right-thinking citizen would object to the bill, which seeks to put a person found with illegal automatic weapons behind bars for 120 days.