Fused Response

March 27, 2018 Crime , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

USETT photo



Ricardo Swire



Escalated global organized crime and drugs trafficking have caused Caribbean law enforcement to be more innovative and tactical, national internal security mechanisms being adjusted and modified to counteract persistently aggressive underworld syndicates. At the end of March 2018 Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) staged the Fused Response military exercise, Barbados functioning as logistical and staging support headquarters for American defense and multi-agency law enforcement participants. Exercise Fused Response, introduced in 2011 by US Southern Command in Doral Florida, connects virtual cyber training to physical operations preparation.


During the March 16th to 26th 2018 maneuvers, aircraft, mainly helicopters and cargo transporter planes, worked in tandem with participants on the ground, seven miles from Venezuela’s coastline. Port of Spain and Caracas enjoy a mutually beneficial commercial relationship, although in February 2018, during a visit to Haiti, the Trinidadian PM confessed Venezuelan criminal elements were generating security concerns that included drugs/ firearms trafficking and human smuggling on the island.


US partnership with CARICOM law enforcers facilitates access to the Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) eTrace system that allows computerized access to gun data, maps movements in real time, and determines legal ownership and ballistics that can connect guns to committed crimes. Caribbean intelligence records calculated a minimum two thousand kilos of cocaine transits T&T monthly. Low flying Venezuelan drug planes evade radars and airdrop consignments to secret maritime latitudes and longitudes. Local pirogues or small boats collect such deliveries, then traverse between T&T and Venezuela without any inspection.


Traffickers monopolize three major clandestine Caribbean routes either via Jamaica, the Dominican Republic or eastern Caribbean islands. T&T’s exercise Fused Response attempted to quell domestic tit-for-tat drug syndicate vendettas. In the midst of one previous gang clash a law enforcement team intercepted one point seven five tons of cocaine worth US$103 million. T&T Coast Guard personnel supported by the Police Service Organized Crime & Narcotics Unit (OCNU) also seized an Israeli made Uzi automatic weapon, four multi-caliber pistols, two assault rifles, plus two hundred and forty-seven assorted ammunition cartridges.


Two Trinidadians, five Venezuelans and one Antiguan were detained at an upscale residence on the Western Peninsula. Four days prior, a joint Venezuelan Coast Guard/French Navy operation found three tons of cocaine aboard a ship navigating in Venezuela’s territorial waters, mission intelligence tracing the consignment to a Syrian syndicate based in Port of Spain. Exercise Fused Response helped adjust substandard law enforcement tactics and reorganize T&T’s national security human resources deployment.


Syrian organized crime syndicates constantly challenge Portuguese/French Creole criminal organizations in T&T’s organized crime arena. In June 2014 the United States Assistant Secretary of State, responsible for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, stated the high profile T&T Special State Prosecutor Dana Seetahal‘s assassination was coordinated by a powerful transnational drug organization operating on the Caribbean territory. T&T’s Police Commissioner reaffirmed officials know why the popular female Special State Prosecutor was ambushed and shot dead outside the Woodbrook Youth Facility on Hamilton Holder Street.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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