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TIME TO ROB GOD

News day / The suspect, who is from East Dry River in Port of Spain, was among four detained between Thursday morning and yesterday for the attack on the well-respected priest. They are expected to face charges of armed robbery, robbery with violence, breaking and entering and false imprisonment.

On Thursday, officers led by Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Boxhill and ASP Ajith Persad and including Sgt Anthony Williams, Sgt Grant, and PCs Mayers, Fernando, Persad, Sookwah and Dianne Taylor, went to Rudolph Charles Link Road in Laventille at 4 am, where they detained a 27-year-old suspect.

He was taken to the Port of Spain CID where he was interviewed by ASP Persad and later gave a confession statement telling police how the robbery was planned. The officers, given key information by the suspect, went to Laventille and Gonzales where they detained three men including a Laventille Road, Laventille man aged 31; a 19-year-old from Laventille Road, East Dry River and an 18-year-old from Jubilee Street, Gonzales in Belmont.

Police recovered a Longines wrist watch which was among items stolen from Fr Harvey. The priest who expressed interest in meeting the four suspects will get his opportunity when he attends an ID parade today. Yesterday, ACP (Crime) Irwin Hackshaw, who co-ordinated the exercises which led to the arrests, commended Snr Supt Boxhill and ASP Persad.

When contacted yesterday, Fr Harvey said he was not aware four people were detained but added he was contacted by police and asked to attend an identification parade. Told that the robbery was planned on the belief that money from the collection would still be in the presbytery, Fr Harvey said, “No church leaves money in a presbytery or on the premises.” On Monday at 5 am, Fr Harvey was at the church’s dormitory when he was accosted by three men, one armed with a gun, who ordered him into his living quarters and robbed him of $1,000, a watch and a cell phone. They threatened to kidnap the priest, asking him if Archbishop Joseph Harris would pay $50,000 ransom, to which Harvey told them he did not think so. Fr Harvey was later hog-tied and gagged.

Fr Harvey later freed himself and alerted police.

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