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SAUTT a ‘commendable success’

Sunday, March 16 2014

THE NOW defunct Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT) duplicated functions of other agencies and had a “direct link” with the Patrick Manning administration but reaped “commendable success”, the Sir David Simmons Report into the events of 1990 states.

“SAUTT saw itself as a separate entity and tended to develop apart from the rest of the intelligence community,” Sir David says in his review of national security measures during and since July 1990. “It had a direct link to the Executive. The compensation packages for its staff also caused dissatisfaction among the other players in the intelligence community as did the fact that SAUTT had the ability to hand-pick personnel from other agencies.”

The Report states that the evidence is that SAUTT was “an operational entity and not really an Intelligence agency although they were doing Intelligence work to service operational and tactical responses.” The agency had certain target areas.

“They were dealing with kidnapping and serious and organised crime. So there was an element of duplication,” the Report states. “SAUTT reaped commendable success in the reduction of crimes of kidnapping from an annual number of approximately 50 to 7. The Unit also tackled gun-running and built up contacts in key areas.”

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