Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar has said on Thursday a plot to assassinate her and senior members of her Cabinet has been uncovered, and it was “an evil, devious act of treason”.

She said the introduction of a state of emergency August 21 had forced criminal elements in Trinidad and Tobago to seek reprisals, reported

Police Commissioner Wayne Gibbs said at least a dozen people had been detained for questioning in connection with the plot. Mr. Gibbs confirmed that among those detained were former members of the protective services here.

“I am going to be very brief in saying that with the information and intelligence we have received, we have put plans in place to counter what we know and we have worked again very hard to ensure the safety of everyone in Trinidad and Tobago,” he told reporters.

Ms. Bissessar said while she intends to keep her public engagements, her main concerns were for the “safety and prosperity of the people of Trinidad and Tobago”.

“I am very grateful to...the law enforcement [officials] who have uncovered such a plot. As a result of their vigilance they have thwarted what was an evil devious act of treason against the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Their actions have proven the actions of the government are having the desired effect.”

She said she never expected that those who plotted against the security of the state to congratulate her administration for curtailing their ability to operate.

Extreme displeasure

“However, I did anticipate their extreme displeasure. The state of emergency [is] a major impact on crime reduction,” said Ms. Bissessar, noting since it was imposed in August 7,269 people had been arrested, 463 for gang related activities.

The Prime Minister, flanked by her National Security Minister [retired Brigadier] John Sandy Gibbs, and Acting Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj, told reporters 13,183 rounds of ammunition and 173 firearms have been seized.

She said in addition drugs with an estimated street value of TT$1.5 billion ($250 million) had been seized and destroyed and that on Monday there was the “largest single drug bust” with a street value of TT$55 million.

She said: “I am not surprised that such elements would make good on threats to carry out reprisals. After all we have disrupted their illegal business.” — IANS