Cops return 11 of 17 bags of cash to Pennywise

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Crime Scene Unit investigators gather evidence outside Pennywise Super Centre, La Romaine on Monday. – Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Southern Division police have handed over 11 of the 17 bags of money found after Monday’s deadly robbery in La Romaine.

Head of the division, acting Snr Supt Richard Smith, did not disclose the amount on Friday but promised to do so “soon.”

The detectives handed over the money to the management of Pennywise Cosmetics Ltd on Thursday.

“All 17 bags were accounted for. We handed over 11 bags yesterday and would hand over the rest soon,” Smith said on Friday.

Police arrested a total of five people, including a 24-year-old TT Regiment member from Fyzabad, in connection with the robbery. Two are from Arouca and the other two are from Pleasantville.

The police were expected to approach the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for instructions on the soldier’s detention. Attorneys representing the soldier filed a writ of habeas corpus on Thursday.

A photo circulating on social media of three men wearing the uniform of a prestigious school in south Trinidad is not sitting well with the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM). A statement from CEO Sharon Mangroo criticised the “misinformation.”

“It is with great disappointment that a photo of three past students, falsely identifying them as ‘Three of the Pennywise Bandits’ has gone viral,” she said.

Only one person in the photo is in custody in connection with the incident.

Mangroo said, “As it pertains to the other two young men, however, we categorically state that they had absolutely no involvement in this tragic event.”

She added the three were schoolmates, and the photo was taken when they were about to graduate.

One is no longer living in Trinidad and Tobago.

She called on the public to refrain from casting any aspersions on the two young men, saying it could cause irreparable damage to their reputations and future endeavours.

“It is our hope that after all investigations are completed that justice will be served according to the laws of the land,” she said.

The CEBM and the school offered condolences to the families of the two murdered security officers, Jerry Stuart and Jeffrey Peters of Allied Security Ltd.

The statement added, “We pray that God may grant you all the strength and comfort during this difficult time. We also pray for the full recovery of the injured officer, Ms Peola Baptiste, who is the mother of one of the students at St Benedict’s College.”

Baptiste, of Claxton Bay, remained in hospital up to Friday.

She and her two colleagues were transporting money in a van out of Pennywise Plaza, where gunmen shot them.

The police later killed four suspects, all from Fyzabad, during a shootout at a house not far away. The police also recovered guns, bulletproof vests and other items.