Cops, soldiers seize 14 trucks
By RALPH BANWARIE Monday, January 14 2013
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A soldier drives one of the confiscated trucks to Camp Cumuto....
In an effort to put some sanity in the illegal quarrying industries in North East Trinidad a joint police and army exercise resulted in the confiscation of quarrying equipment at Valencia to the tune of millions of dollars.
The equipment confiscated at the Valencia quarrying site included 14 ten-wheeler trucks, one new overloader and a four-wheel patrol all terrain vehicle.
Officers from the Northern Division and soldiers armed with warrants went to a quarrying plant at Valencia on Friday evening.
They locked down the entire Valencia quarrying area and began removing the 14 trucks and overloader.
The unexpected exercise carried out by the police and soldiers left quarry operators in shock and they are demanding to know why the vehicles and other equipment were confiscated.
One operator speaking on condition of anonymity said the vehicles are all licensed and only a few days ago the overloader was handed over by the dealer.
“I cannot understand why the police and soldiers had to confiscate my equipment as it puts me out of business and also the 25 employees,” said the quarry operator.
Police sources said warrants were read to the quarry operator detailing reasons why the fleet of trucks and overloader were seized, but police said details cannot be disclosed at this time.
The operation caused a huge pile-up of traffic along the intersection of the Valencia Old Road and Toco Main Road as police stopped all vehicles coming in and out of Toco to have the confiscated vehicles removed and parked on the road way. The vehicles were driven by soldiers and were all taken to Camp Cumuto for safe keeping.
At about 8.30 pm when the vehicles were being driven out of Valencia Old Road, heavy dust blanketed the area and curious crowds ran out of the bars and other liming spots to look at the commotion.
Heavily armed police and army vehicles escorted the confiscated vehicles to Camp Cumuto.
No one has been arrested up to press time, but police reported that arrests will soon be made.