3 cops on extortion charges
The trinidad Guardian / Three days after two police officers attached to the Western Division appeared in court on fraud charges, three officers from the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) operating out of the division were arrested in connection with the extortion of a Diego Martin businessman.

The officers, all constables, were arrested following a sting operation between Wednesday night and yesterday morning by members of the Professional Standards Bureau. The men are now being kept at three different police stations within the division.

Pictures of them are already being circulated on social media, with some condemning the entire Police Service for their alleged actions. On Monday, Supt Wayne Thongs and SRP Constable Dayna Spencer appeared before Senior Magistrate Nanette Forde-John charged with engaging in a series of acts tending to pervert the course of public justice and misbehaviour in public office.

It is alleged that while attached to the RRU, Spencer, 40, presented duty slips to Thongs, 55, in February 2015 for work she reportedly had not done and for which he is alleged to have authorised for payment. The duo will reappear in court on February 6, 2017.

In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, president of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association, Insp Michaels Seales, refused comment on the specific case of the three men but said it was time the service purged itself of rogue officers.

"The Police Service needs to do some serious introspection and the association head is calling on police who are decent law-abiding officers to report rogue officers to the Professional Standards Bureau.

"In addition, the general feeling of the membership is that they are happy to rid the service of those bent on doing wrong things. I want the system to purge itself and get rid of them so we don’t have to look over our shoulders for the crooked ones but instead look outward at the criminals," Seales said.

Inclusive of Spencer and Thongs, there are 152 police officers on suspension due to charges levelled against them for various offences.

In an unrelated incident yesterday, a constable attached to the Eastern Division was shot in the leg as he stood outside a business place at Damarie Hill, Sangre Grande.

According to police reports, Constable Hakeem Blake of the Eastern Division Task Force was standing on the roadway when a car pulled up and a gunman jumped out and shot him. Blake was taken to the Sangre Grande District Hospital where he is warded in a stable condition. No motive for his shooting was divulged.

3 cops on extortion charges

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