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Police: Locals were assisting Trinidad fugitives

Police: Locals were assisting Trinidad fugitives

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One of the three men who were in police custody in Trinidad for the January murder of a police woman may be running for his life – to St Vincent.

Ato John, who surrendered to Trinidad police after he was being sought in relation to the police officer’s murder, was interrogated for two days last week and released.{{more}}

The two other men have been charged with four murders.

Now, a reliable source in Trinidad has informed SEARCHLIGHT that John is fearful for his life as he believes both the Trinidad police and his own gang members may be after him.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that John may be making his way to or is already in St Vincent seeking refuge.

If this is the case, then this would be John’s second such visit to these shores. Because, although John and the two other fugitives who were being hunted here were captured by police in Trinidad, Acting Commissioner of SVG Police Force Bertram Pompey is sure that the men had been hiding out in this country and were being harboured by locals.

“They were in Chateaubeliar and were driving around in rentals,” said Commissioner Pompey.

He said that when the police issued the photographs of the men a couple weeks ago, “we were hot on their trail.”

According to Pompey, the police had very reliable information about the men’s whereabouts.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that he was very upset to learn that the fugitives were being assisted locally.

“That was very upsetting to see fugitives from another country being given assistance here,” Commissioner Pompey said.

He said that the police have information about those persons who were helping the wanted men.

Pompey said that he also shares the view of Trinidad and Tobago’s Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of homicide Maurice Piggot that as the local police stepped up the hunt, the men tried to hide here, but then decided to take their chances back in Trinidad.

Commissioner Pompey said that he has confirmation from Trinidad that the men were in fact in St Vincent for a period of time while they were being sought by Trinidad police.

Police believed that Daniel “Telly” Mendoza aka Matrix, Zwadie Kambon Gomez aka Patchie, and Ato John had been in St Vincent for close to three weeks, staying with friends.

Originally the third name was being given as Kwasi Shaka John but as it turned out the picture was that of Kwasi’s brother Ato, the man that was really being sought by the police.

Local police later called off the massive manhunt when it was revealed by SEARCHLIGHT that the men were caught in Trinidad, the last one two Mondays ago in a Central Trinidad community.

The three men are believed to be responsible for the January 22 murders of Elizabeth Sutherland, a female Trinidad and Tobago Police Constable, along with her husband, daughter and family friend.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of Homicide Maurice Piggot confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT last week that the three men are all in custody in Trinidad. He however couldn’t confirm or deny that the men had in fact fled to St Vincent in an attempt to escape the clutches of the Trinidadian authorities.

ACP Piggot however explained that the operation by the Vincentian Police could have chased the men off St Vincent, which saw them return to Trinidad and eventually be captured.

WPC Elizabeth Sutherland, 47, Ivan Sutherland, 48, Anika Sutherland, 23, and Kevin Surrette, 33, of Morvant were shot after four men broke into Sutherland’s home on January 22.

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