Seven suspects who the police fingered as persons of interests in gang-related activities were apprehended in the troubled Dock Yard settlement on Tuesday as the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force launches ‘Operation Anaconda’.
The operation began at about 3:30pm and lasted several hours.
Armed with search warrants, “Operation Anaconda” targeted several premises which were the prime areas linked to serious crime, according to a news release from the force’s media officer, Denyse Renne, saying also that items classified as potential gang-related violence, including ammunition, were seized.
Commissioner of Police, Trevor Botting was pleased with the result of the operation.
“Yesterday’s intelligence led operation in Dock Yard directly targeted those whom we believe have been involved in serious crime and gang related activity,” he said.
Commissioner Botting added: “I have long stated that the police, and by extension the communities, must purge these criminal elements from continuously causing havoc in this beautiful by nature TCI.”
Botting said 58 officers comprising the Tactical, Armed and Investigations Units, supported by police dogs and Forensic teams, formed part of the multi-pronged operation in areas where gang killings and violence have erupted.
“As a result seven persons were arrested for crime related matters and they remain in custody as suspects in active police investigations. Property, inclusive of ammunition and masks, believed to be used in the perpetration of criminal acts were seized.
Additionally, Botting stated that stolen property was recovered, promising more operations of that nature.
“Further operations are planned, and my officers will be relentless in hunting down and apprehending those criminals, intent on causing harm to the communities of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
In the meantime, Botting is urging criminals to quickly surrender when accosted by police officers, insinuating that if they refused, the situation may not end well for the wrongdoers.
“I again state to the criminals, when approached by my officers, do not engage, if my officers feel threatened and you decide to shoot at them, my officers will do what is necessary to protect themselves”.