• 24 Feb, 2024

Bandits seem to be targeting Indo-Trinidadians for home invasions

Bandits seem to be targeting Indo-Trinidadians for home invasions

Bandits seem to be targeting Indo-Trinidadians for home invasions

Trinidad and Tobago has seen a worrying increase in home invasions in recent years, and more so, in the last few months, with many of these incidents targeting Indo-Trinidadian families. According to police statistics, there were 518 reported cases of home invasions in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021 alone, up from 450 in 2020. In 2022, the 2021 figure more than doubled to 1,301 burglaries and break-ins. Experts attribute this rise to several factors, including drug-related crime, and inadequate law enforcement resources. It is also a statistical fact that when the ruling Afro-PNM party is in Government, the rate of robberies skyrockets, targeting Indo-Trinidadians.

One example of this increasing trend was the February 2022 home invasion in Aranguez. Armed men broke into the home of an Indo-Trinidadian family and held them hostage for several hours. The assailants stole jewellery, electronics, and other valuables before fleeing the scene. Fortunately, the family was unharmed, but the incident left them traumatised and fearful for their safety.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, as many Indo-Trinidadian families have reported similar attacks in recent years. As recently as Easter Sunday 2023, Guardian media reported, “A usual family dinner turned into 30 minutes of terror for the Ghany family [of Aranguez again] as six men invaded their property and beat, tormented and traumatised them demanding cash and valuables." The six men, one of whom was armed, robbed the Ghanys’ of $21,200 in cash, jewellery, clothes, bottles of Hennessy and cell phones before fleeing by car. The 15-year-old grandson of the Ghany household suffered the brunt of the blows and had to seek treatment at hospital.

"The teenager was hit several times on his head with a gun, punched in his face and beaten with an iron curtain rod on his back and chest by the intruders. He sustained a broken nose, four lacerations to his head and a battered and bruised body.” One of the intruders was shot dead by police. He was identified as Rekel Rahim Mason, of Eastern Quarry, Laventille – a predominantly non-Indian community, infamously plagued by gang violence  on the outskirts of Port of Spain.

The increase in home invasions and the targeting of specific Indo and Chinese is a disturbing trend in Trinidad and Tobago. It highlights the urgent need for improved law enforcement, community engagement, and support for victims of crime. Without decisive action, the situation is likely to worsen, further threatening the safety and well-being of Trinidad and Tobago's citizens.

Making matters worse, one PNM government activist has urged people to jump over the walls of Indian-owned properties, rush into their houses, and "deal with them”.  Despite her glaringly racist call to violence and hate speech, she has not faced any repercussion from law enforcement officers or the political party she represents.