Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the person shown in CCTV footage taking what appears to be money during a recent exercise in La Horquetta, is not a member of the Police Service or SORT.
Instead he says the individual is a serving member of the TT Defence Force.
He also assured that a thorough investigation will take place to determine what was in the envelope, if evidence was removed without authorization and if any criminal act was committed.
During the raid on September 22nd, $22 million in cash was seized.
The Top Cop meanwhile has accepted a level of responsibility, saying “regardless of who took the envelope, this was a Police-led Operation, so the TTPS is responsible”.
Regarding the exercise itself, Mr Griffith says he expected difficulties.
A release from the TTPS states:
“To hear persons from varying quarters voice their immense concern about the Police targeting this type of activity, was expected by him, as the COP states “when I started to launch this type of investigation, I was told that I would be going into unchartered waters and would be stepping on large toes, inclusive of big criminal business, gangs who use such systems to launder funds acquired from the drug trade, and also senior law enforcement personnel who would be involved and used as cover for the transporting and securing of such funds.””
He also insisted that the amount of money involved was highly suspicious, as was the way it was being stacked: under beds, in cardboard boxes, and on shelves.
Additionally the Commissioner took issue with a newspaper headline which implied that an officer was the one shown on the CCTV footage.
He said: “It does look really bad, BUT people are not understanding that I am not defending anything but rather just correcting a false headline by a reporter that seems to have a personal issue with the TTPS and the CoP, by extension. I have no doubt that I will make these bad apples accountable.”
Mr Griffith says in his two years at the helm, there have been 80 officers suspended, 60 arrested and requests for over 20 to be dismissed.