Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Did Police act lawfully to find Imbert’s phone? And what about other victims of crime?

Dear Editor: Did Police act lawfully to find Imbert’s phone? And what about other victims of crime?

“Is the prostitution of the police by the political directorate such that the police are only animated to act effectively when a Minister of Government is affected by crime? The country ravaged by criminal activities including brutal killings have not seen similar alacrity by the police to solve these crimes that affect the normal citizens.”

The following Letter to the Editor on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s successful and speedy effort in retrieving a phone stolen from Adrian Imbert, the son of Finance Minister Colm Imbert, was submitted to Wired868 by UNC Senator Devant Maharaj:

Photo: Adrian Imbert is the son of Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

The population can have comfort knowing that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has the ability and capacity to solve crimes against the person in a timely and effective manner. The very recent example of the recovery of the son of the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, Adrian Colm Imbert was an impressive feat of criminal detection.

Only Last Friday Adrian Colm Imbert, was driving his white Hilux pickup along the Eastern Main Road, Laventille  was held up and robbed. Imbert was robbed of a cellphone valued $5,000 and a of cash. Immediately following this heinous crime several areas in Beetham were searched.

On Monday police locked down several parts of Beetham Gardens and executed a search warrant at the house where a phone was found. In fact agents from at least two elite units, dealing with the gathering of data for National Security purposes, were involved in the investigations.

Public outcry against this apparent bias on the part of the Government as no similar enthusiasm when crimes are committed against normal average citizens. When Ria Sookdeo was kidnapped a year ago, no Elite Units of the Police was deployed.

Is the prostitution of the police by the political directorate such that the police are only animated to act effectively when a Minister of Government is affected by crime? The country ravaged by criminal activities including brutal killings have not seen similar alacrity by the police to solve these crimes that affect the normal citizens.

Photo: Debe hairstylist Ria Sookdeo is believed to have been abducted, two years ago.
She remains missing.

In addition to the issue of the police not being equally interested in crimes against the population as they are in crimes against politically connected, did the police act in a lawful manner to make find the cellphone of Minister Imbert’s son? While the police executed a search warrant to search the premise of the suspected thieves of the cell phone, how did the police arrive at the exact location of the cellphone?

Given the elite units are involved in data gathering for National Security it is reasonable to assume that technology was utilised to located the cellphone. If so did the police obtain the required Warrant for Interception?

The Interception of Communications Chap. 15:08 Section 8 (1) clearly states:

8. (1) Subject to this section, an authorised officer mayapply ex parteto a Judge for a warrant authorising the person named in the warrant—

(a) to intercept, in the course of their transmission by means of a public or private telecommunications network, such communications as are described in the warrant; and

(b) to disclose the intercepted communication to such persons and in such manner as may be specified in the warrant.

Photo: Senior members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service during an address by then National Security Minister John Sandy in 2010.
(Courtesy News.Gov.TT)

Further the Interception of Communication Act 15:08 Section 8 (3) outlines the method in which an application for a Warrant for Interception is unambiguous when it states:

(3) An application for a warrant under this section shall, subject to section 11, be in the to section 11, be in the form set out in Schedule 1 and be accompanied by—

(a) a declaration in the form set out in Schedule 2 deposing to the following matters:

(i) the name of the authorised officer and the entity on behalf of which the application is made;

(ii) the facts or allegations giving rise to the application;

(iii) sufficient information for a Judge to issue a warrant on the terms set out in section 9;

(iv) the period for which the warrant is requested;

(v) the grounds relied on for the issue of a warrant under subsection (2); and

(vi) if the applicant will be seeking the assistance of any person or entity in implementing the warrant, sufficient information for a Judge so to direct in accordance with section 9(3); and (b) a statement signed by the Minister where the warrant is applied for on the ground of national security, authorising the application on that ground.

Photo: Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon.
(Copyright Jamaica Observer)

While it is true that Section 11.(1) allows for an oral application “Where a Judge is satisfied that the urgency of the circumstances so requires—(a) he may dispense with the requirements for a written application and a declaration and proceed to hear an oral application for a warrant; and (b) if satisfied that a warrant is necessary as mentioned in section 8(2), he shall issue a warrant in accordance with this Act.”

Did the police service, the elite police service apply and obtain a Warrant for Interception as required by law in order to assist in the detection and recovery of the cellphone of the Minister Colm Imbert’s son? If so the police should share the detailed nature of the application.

If the police did not utilize any technology to detect and locate the cellphone of the Minister Imbert’s son, then the police also have a similar responsibility to explain to the population the details of this detection and if they ever recovered any other stolen cellphones for members of the public with this method.

While it is commendable that the police solved this criminal act, what was the process used and was it in conformity with the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, and why are the police not similarly effective with crimes regarding the average citizen?

Photo: Adrian Imbert.

Editor’s Note: TTPS head of corporate communications, Ellen Lewis, told the Trinidad Guardian that Adrian Imbert did not get special treatment after a joint exercise involving the Port of Spain Division and Cyber Crime Unit retrieved his stolen phone in two days.

“I can say with certainty there was no special interest paid to this matter. None whatsoever. There are real examples of police successes where the use of technology was involved in solving crime… whether it be stolen computers, laptops, tablets and cell phones.

“We treat impartially and objectively with reports that come in relative to crimes that were committed.”

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your blog between 300 to 800 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation.

Check Also

Demming: Demise of Refining; the legacy of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

I left the oil industry in 1989 because I was impatient with the wait for …

113 comments

  1. My vehicle got stolen from C3 mall in south and the police could not even get the footage from management. Lame set AH jackasses….

  2. Well dem take long to find that phone. I know for a fact of an arrest made within half hour of a robbery by tracking the cell phone and the victim was a ‘normal’ citizen. So to all the haters, sit down and stfu.

  3. Two things here 1) Who was incharge of this operation? Sure you’ll see his/her name in the mix for next CoP. 2) What sensitive info could he have on his phone and more importantly how does Clom know whats on his son’s phone?

  4. Let’s keep the issue where the problem is located so that we can come up with a solution …. de police hav ah problem dat dem hav to solve Dey too corrupt an Dey need to be led by competent professionals

  5. Ellen Lewis is just towing the line.Two years ago on Easter Sunday my friend daughter stole my phone, I waited some time until I was sure she had the Phone, then I reported it to the Princes Town Police, they send me to San Fernando CID cause I told them the Phone was stolen while bathing in the Sea at Kings Warf, I spoke to Officer Dhoray giving him all information correctly, even my friend name and location, I felt confident I will get my Phone back, surprisingly, he nor no other Officer make any attempt to recover my Phone. I should mention Officer Ravi Dhoray lives in my Village at Cedar Hill. What a disgusting Shame on the San Fernando CID.

  6. “They eh riot yet! What’s your problem?” Blatant bias use of the police. No average citizens getting that treatment for phone loss. Demonstrates the hypocrisy of the people in Government. It will happen again. Doh worry. Hope none of the supporters doh loss their phone.

  7. So just to be clear, when the Police ask Jack Warner for advice on how to proceed after finding a “green leafy substance” in Kamla’s mansion or are a rubber stamp for the PP’s State of Emergency, they are a bunch of incompetent, corrupt so and so’s…
    But when their finest hour is in coordinating “Operation Liberate Imbert Sonny’s Phone”, nobody should dare suggest any misgivings about their standards of practice?
    Did I get that right?

  8. The minds of some people amazing, so what for a phone don’t be so gullible that is not the issue here nor is d fact that is a pnm ministers son nor how or what d police did to find it or how fast.

  9. Two years ago the Siparia police tracked a stolen phone from Santa Flora to Bamboo junction near Gulf City no big deal ordinary citizen

    • And that one anecdote means that sort of policing is the norm?
      So why do so many people complain about poor policing? All just ungrateful?

    • I humbly believe that half of our problem is attitude we only comply with laws when in other jurisdictions Everybody knows someone to allow them leeway and police get the blame because citizens cannot police themselves

    • The police are blamed for lawlessness but what about others A DUI fine is greater than Possession of Firearm fine A victim has to be tormented by giving the same evidence in the magistrate court before it reaches High Court in certain matters WHY because only one person profits The law enforcement services are severely short staffed and as a media person you can ask the question what is the percentage of deficiency…when you have a union leader holding up the installation of port scanners for x years the same scanner used worldwide but he Einstein decide it’s harmful to Trinidad so of course we have a contraband problem

    • The entire legal system in Trinidad does not do enough to put criminals at a disadvantage and to protect people who do the right thing.
      Case in point: Ish and Warner.
      But that’s my opinion. If you have a different opinion that’s your right.
      For me, it is not that Imbert got special treatment. The police did their jobs with regards to his robbery.
      I’d just like them to do their jobs with ALL robberies.

  10. Whaþ about the “home invasion” where HIS dad lost
    TT200.000pĺus a quanťity of US $. Solved yet? yrs ago

  11. Well boy if that is not spicalist treatment what is ???. My sister get Rob he took her two phones give them de info on who has it de man sell them tell de ttps about it and up to now still no word and that was in MAY SO TELL ME WHICH ONE GET SPICALIST TREATMENT HMMMM

  12. This is total UNC fake news being spread by UNC fake news sites Cambridge analytica style.. All’yuh keep all’yuh head!
    The talk of two sets of elite forces was a UNC LIE.
    The minister calling to shut down of TSTT to find the phone was a UNC LIE.
    The salary range is a huge UNC LIE!
    Him getting a salary from CAL is a UNC LIE (he is on no pay leave!)
    The UNC has been spreading fake news and misinformation from their Cambridge analytica training.
    The Newsday story was based on UNC fake news

  13. This is total UNC fake news being spread by UNC fake news pages
    Cambridge Analytica style!
    The talk of two sets of elite forces was a UNC LIE.
    The minister calling to shut down of TSTT to find the phone was a UNC LIE.
    The salary range is a huge UNC LIE!
    Him getting a salary from CAL is a UNC LIE (he is on no pay leave!)
    The UNC has been spreading fake news and misinformation from their Cambridge analytica training.
    The Newsday story was based on UNC fake news

  14. You know what question, nobody is asking – What was he doing in Laventille, and how could the son of a wealthy man, a man who was wealthy before Govt, had a mechanically defective vehicle? Wealthy people like that dont just drive in Laventille and even if they working in some state enterprise, they almost always have someone nearby. Wealthy people drive down the Beetham at high speed too.

  15. damn when my phone got stolen in sando i went to the police station I told them gps shows my phone in princess town they told me that’s not their jurisdiction further they said I may as well forget it because its a lost cause smh

  16. GPS and data always being on helps. Which many people may not do if they don’t have the data package to support it or worried about their movements being tracked.

    With respect to the interception of communications angle…. if I lost my phone the first thing I would do is log into MY Google account… trigger the find MY phone feature and provide that info to police. They would be using information from MY device.

    Why would a warrant be needed?

    People being ridiculous with this now. There were many instances before this where phones and devices were retrieved. The other gossip and foolishness about the contents of the phone is another thing.

    But certain agendas never end

  17. Remember the motto. To p rotect and serve. It really means To protect themselves and serve no useful purpose

  18. Ms Ellen Lewis your statement is either highly erroneous or you personally lack first hand experience of similar matters. My phone too was stolen and I was informed very little can be done, the sim card may already be extracted. I was issued a lost or stolen form and advised to show my provider to obtain same number. That was that,so your statement that reads ” I can say with certainty……” is an imagination of your mind!

  19. T&T is being constantly kept in a state of discomfort by individuals who would rather destroy than build…
    All this crap about a fone whilst people continue to steal and corrupt the system….waste of time.
    I know of an incident where a man lost a laptop and he was able to take the Police to the exact house where it was…He went with 2 Officers.
    But do you go into the Beetham with 2 Officers????(maybe if you go to deliver goods?)
    Time for the detractors to deal with serious issues….I still waiting to hear where all the luxury vehicles that were at Vemcott gone.
    I waiting to hear exactly WHO got leases in Chaguaramas and for how much…I waiting to hear what became of the Policemen who pocketed $$$ in the casino in South when called out on a robbery scene…
    And i want to know why Petrotrin has as many Contractors as permanent workers….
    Tell me why so many Gov’t employees clocking cards and going back home 2 hours after…
    F#@k Imbert son fone….
    Get real…Get serious…Too much jackassness that not proffiting anybody…..

  20. So sumbody Say he is an Astronautical Engineer working at Caribbean Airlines for $50000 ah month. Doh fack me up but I dint know Caribbean Airlines start doing out of space travel. Cuz Astronautical Engineers work on out of atmosphere cafts and machines last time i checked

  21. Is this the same character of Camp Cumuto fame…asking…

  22. There’s a perception of inequality. The police service is there to protect and serve. Does each citizen get the same response as was given to young Mr. Imbert? The answer is NO.

  23. Who the heck cares. They do what they want because they know they have a sure voting population. Why stop now.

  24. There also is a tracking device on those phones

  25. So much is being made of this recovery, when most young people could educate on how to find a lost or stolen phone.

  26. Seems like we luv the police to fail. We will be a banana republic one day. We have the perfect attitude to achieve that status.

  27. Well. .we know were the police priority lies. ..serving the pnm ministers and there children only

  28. Young man you came back to serve. Do not let these people run you out of town as they have done to so many young qualified professionals it is a jealous disease of those who are not qualified in your field bottom line. This has nothing to do with phone.

  29. The business was to expose the Minister’s son and his family in every possible way. Is he in Government. May as well start with all MP’s children.Those who live at home and abroad.

  30. “And nobody riot yet, hee, hee, hee”
    Mofo Impsbutt.

  31. Is how people behaving like this is the 1st time police ever do this

  32. Editor’s Note: TTPS head of corporate communications, Ellen Lewis, told the Trinidad Guardian that Adrian Imbert did not get special treatment after a joint exercise involving the Port of Spain Division and Cyber Crime Unit retrieved his stolen phone in two days.
    “I can say with certainty there was no special interest paid to this matter. None whatsoever. There are real examples of police successes where the use of technology was involved in solving crime… whether it be stolen computers, laptops, tablets and cell phones.
    “We treat impartially and objectively with reports that come in relative to crimes that were committed.”

  33. So who else would submit the letter

  34. Need to educated our people about gps

    • This is a clear continuation of the double standards employed by this Administration and its facilitator agents. We have all been touched by the hand of crime and most can attest to the laissez-faire attitude of the TTPS when it came to investigation and follow ups. That the TTPS can say there was no bias is a slap in the face of the average Trinidadian.

      I pity those whose judgement is clouded by political bias to not understood when your fundamental basic rights as a citizen are being trampled upon.

  35. Earl Best

    If nobody had told me which minister’s son was involved, on the basis of that last picture of him, I would not have been surprised to discover that the young man’s father was the Minister of Communications.

    Just my imagination? Perhaps…

    Anyway, what I really want to say is that if the writer wants to be taken seriously, he should take his time and try to do more than sound like a man talking in a rumshop with some documents in his hand. There is clearly a real issue here but the ex-minister doesn’t quite manage to convince. Anti-government bile and bias is all that emerges here.