Police get warrant to unlock Scoon’s electronic devices

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Businessman Adrian Scoon –

Police have obtained a warrant to examine the electronic devices
seized from the son of a government minister accused of breaching the public health regulations aboard the Ocean Pelican on Boxing Day last year.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Wendell Williams gave the update during a media briefing on Friday at the Police Administration Building, Port of Spain.

Williams said businessman Adrian Scoon, the son of Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, had refused to provide a password for the device, which was confiscated during an operation recently.

Scoon is under investigation for hosting an event on the vessel while docked off Chaguaramas, and police detained and questioned over 100 patrons after boarding the vessel.

In a lawsuit he filed challenging the search warrant, Scoon said two iPhones, two Macbooks and a flash drive were seized.

His lawyers have asked for an undertaking that police will not try to access information from them until the matter is resolved by the courts. Williams did not identify which device the police wanted to access.

Asked whether the investigation also involved any attempt by politicians to influence the probe, Williams responded: “We are taking up every aspect that presents itself as an allegation of suggestion of it in terms of an infraction of the law.”

He said there were “two streams” of investigation, one headed by the head of the Criminal Investigations Department Snr Supr Joseph Chandool, and another by the Western Division, where the vessel was docked.

Acting CoP McDonald Jacob and acting DCP Erla Christopher were asked to clarify the conversation they had on the night of the incident with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

Jacob said he received a call from the Attorney General “as from any other citizen aware of an incident and he alerted me of an incident. I told him we had knowledge of it and it was being handled and I thanked him for the information.”

Jacob said the AG was not the first or the last politician from either side to alert him to a situation “just like any other member of the public.”

Christopher said Jacob had answered the issue “quite clearly” and the investigation is ongoing.

Williams also gave an update in the investigation of the woman accused of breaching the TT Travel Pass regulations and entering the country while positive with the omicron variant of covid19. She has been interviewed twice. He said the file on the matter had been submitted for advice on Thursday.

In relation to the kidnapping of St Helena couple Narine and Mattie Maraj on January 8, Williams said only four suspects remain in custody.
In an earlier release, police said nine suspects, aged 16-50, were held for the offence.

Williams said the woman, who was released by her kidnappers in Cumaca, Valencia, on January 11, was still in hospital. Her husband managed to escape a day after being taken captive.

Jacob said the police intended to stamp out the crime of kidnapping for ransom permanently and praised the work of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and other units which helped recover the victims.