Who said there is such a thing as easy money?
Last night, over 75 law enforcement officers raided a Carapo mosque and held Rajaee Ali, the son of Jamaat-al-Muslimeen Imam Hassan Ali, who was taken to the Arima Police Station for questioning.
Initial reports suggested that 22 persons were held in total although that has not been verified by the police. There is also no confirmation as to why Ali was apprehended.
Sources suggest that Ali was held in relation to the murder of former Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal. But it is believed that the men were arrested under the anti-gang legislation rather than for murder.
Seetahal was gunned down on 4 May 2014 and, within 24 hours, CCN journalist Mark Bassant suggested that police had linked the assassination to “a Carapo man” with “ties with a Muslim-based organisation.”
Since then, Ali was held for questioning by police on one previous occasion while his ties with Sport Minister Anil Roberts’ controversial Life Sport programme were aired through a series of investigative pieces by the Trinidad Express.
Mr Live Wire has some questions on the continued dragnet around Ali, who was once cleared of murder charges after witnesses refused to show up:
Is Ali the only name on the Police Service’s blackboard with relation to the Seetahal murder?
Why does the Police Service not have enough evidence to charge Ali with murder after almost three months? And what could be gained by holding him for anything else?
Is the arrest of Ali meant to put additional pressure on the inept Sport Minister by association through Life Sport?
Is Carapo the new Laventille for policemen who are desperate to pretend that they are doing something about dangerous crime?
And, more to the point, does Rajaee Ali symbolise the same lightening rod for the Police Service that Calder Hart does to the Attorney General?
The varying degrees of discomfort experienced by Life Sport’s unholy trinity of Roberts, permanent secretary Ashwin Creed and director Ruth Marchan suggests the dangers inherent when public servants flirt with the underworld.
God knows what bill Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner will hit Marchan for her tenancy at his supposed safe house—and the ex-FIFA vice-president knows a thing or two about indebtedness—while Creed has been spotted in public less often than Elvis and even his “outside women” seem a fair topic in Parliament at the moment.
And Roberts has become a walking dartboard for National Security Minister Gary Griffith.
But the repeated raids and threat of raids on Ali and the Carapo mosque suggests that it works both ways; and even Muslim extremists can get more than they bargain for when they start doing the “dutty wine” with dodgy MPs.
It is open to speculation as to which party is more tainted by interaction with the other: a former murder accused and one-time prison escapee; or an idiot Sport Minister who is killing the dreams of hundreds of local sportsmen and women.