FBI To Set Up T&T Office

Hardbeatnews, PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Wed Oct 26, 2006:  The Federal Bureau of Investigations has acceded to the Trinidad and Tobago government’s request for help in arresting the crime wave that is sweeping the country and has promised to set up an attaché office here. 

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, made the disclosure following a meeting with Prime Minister Patrick Manning during a brief visit here yesterday. Mueller said the FBI would provide technical assistance to local officers, particularly with respect to the recent spate of bombings, and kidnappings.

“We have for some time believed that co-operation amongst our counterparts here in Trinidad and Tobago is tremendously important both for our country, but also for the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

The FBI honcho said the agency does not believe there is a terrorist cell operating in the country, but added that there were certain areas that were being closely looked at.

“There are individuals who are of interest to us and our counterpart authorities here,” he said.  “In terms of who is behind the bombings, I’ll leave that to the Chief of Police to say, but we are providing forensic support to the police here.”

The FBI director added that without the help of the citizens of the country, the police would not be able to catch the criminals.  He noted, “In the United States our success in reducing certain cities in reducing crime has been attributable in large part to enlisting the help of individuals affected by these crimes in identifying the persons responsible, and providing the evidence that would ensure that they were convicted.”

Mueller said the Bureau had trained close to fifty Trinidadian police officers, and that would continue. He noted that with globalization, the world is growing smaller, and it is tremendously important that countries monitor what happens within their borders.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced in his 2006 Budget presentation that FBI and Scotland Yard officers would be coming to the island to assist in the battle against crime, after the business community put pressure on the government to seriously tackle the crime scourge.

The Police Welfare Association says it would welcome any technical assistance that the foreign cops can provide.

One FBI agent has been in Trinidad since August and four others are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. 

Mueller was appointed FBI director on September 4, 2001 by US President George W Bush and is the sixth Bureau chief.  He is a Vietnam veteran and was awarded the US Purple Heart and other top military awards.  He worked with the US Attorney General’s office and US Attorney’s Office.

As a prosecutor he was instrumental in the prosecution of mobster John Gotti, former Panamanian president Manuel Noriega and those responsible for the 1989 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Mueller was last Acting Deputy Attorney General before his appointment to the FBI. – Hardbeatnews.com