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Man held in Tobago

By NALINEE SEELAL Sunday, November 29 2009

ACTING on information, Tobago police detained the head of a local Muslim organisation in Scarborough on Friday while he was attempting to board the inter-island ferry TT Spirit to Trinidad.

The man, who is 42 years old was taken to the Scarborough CID on grounds that he posed a security threat to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and that he was a suspect in allegedly making threats to the life of an individual.

Sources revealed that the manís Tobago home and business place were searched by officers from the Special Anti-Crime Unit (SAUTT) and Special Branch. He was released from custody at about 2 am yesterday.

Police sources revealed that the man was placed under surveillance following information received that he had allegedly wrote several letters to some of the heads attending the CHOGM. The letters allegedly contained material considered by police to be threats.

Police sources added that based on the information, they acted swiftly on Friday and carried out the necessary procedures as stipulated by the law.

Yesterday, acting Police Commissioner James Philbert confirmed that the man was detained based on information received. He added that the police was simply carrying out their jobs and the detention of the man centred around a letter which he wrote to one of the heads attending the CHOGM conference.

Philbert refused to give any further information except to state that additional security was placed around French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sunday Newsday was reliably informed that the police intercepted a letter allegedly written by the man addressed to Sarkozy questioning the way Muslims are treated in France.

Contacted for comment yesterday, the former detainee confirmed to Sunday Newsday that he was detained on Friday and questioned about his views on Islam. He also claimed that the police told him he was being held since he was deemed a threat to CHOGM and the life of a particular individual.

The man said that while he was detained, he was also questioned about his organisation and his views on Islam and certain events happening in the Middle East. Police sources said yesterday that although the man was released, inquiries are still continuing. President Sarkozy left Trinidad early yesterday.

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