The State is being seven days to “come straight” on the circumstances that led to the death of Multinational Protection Specialist Network owner Richard “Muscles” Edwards.
Family members and colleagues from the Ministry of National Security strongly believe Edwards, 51, was murdered because of critical information he had of “individuals in power,” including corruption within the judiciary of T&T. It’s believed he was murdered and the hit was called from “someone in a top, top position…an untouchable (seemingly).”
What has deepened suspicion is the T&T Police Service’s announcement last week that Edwards’ death was “accidental, due to negligence in using his licensed firearm,” although an autopsy was yet to be conducted
Sources in Edwards’ circle say there are two persons who “hold the key” to what really happened on March 1 at 8.40 pm. One of the persons was identified by name and is from South Trinidad while the other is a police officer attached to the Central Division.
The TTPS release stated that Edwards, a former Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force member, was at his business at Point Lisas Business Park at about 8.40 pm in the company of several people, inclusive of a police officer, when he took out his licensed 9 mm pistol and began demonstrating some techniques with the firearm. The release said during the demonstration Edwards reloaded the pistol, removed the magazine and placed it to his head, as he explained his actions to the group. It said despite warnings from some present, he continued his actions, released the trigger and a loud explosion was then heard as he fell to the floor.
But according to relatives, the incident did not unfold the way the TTPS alleges.
Speaking to the Guardian Media under strict anonymity, a close affiliate of Edwards, who personally trained under him in weaponry usage, said there was no way Edwards could have accidentally killed himself in the way described. In fact, the close affiliate said on the day in question Edwards had no training/demonstration classes and was in fact “called out” by someone “he knew very well.”
“He was called and told to me meet them there. A close female relative of his dropped him off there after he got the call. There was someone else on the compound and three shots were heard. Muscles was killed about 20 feet away from where his classes were held,” Edwards’ close affiliate said.
“Then there was someone who took his personal firearm and went to his home in Couva looking for his female relative…we strongly believe that the plan was to make it look like a murder/suicide but it failed.”
At the scene at the Couva Hospital that night, a relative, who also wished not to be identified, claimed a police officer walked up asking what type of personal firearm Edwards had.
“I was shocked. I told him then and there if you all saying that he shot himself with his own firearm then you all should know what type of firearm he had…I was confused, why he was asking and I noticed that he kept lurking around us, the family members to hear what’s being said and was on his phone,” the relative said.
“We don’t know the officer’s motive but we were very observant and cautious. When he got too close to us we went silent. So how can the TTPS say he was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences when we all gathered at the Couva Hospital for several hours. And how can the TTPS rule on his death and the autopsy has not been conducted yet…hopefully, it will be done today (Monday) because it is holding up the funeral.”
The relative said on the night of the incident they also heard several versions of what happened that night.
A member of the T&T Defence Force (TTDF), who said he worked closely with Edwards over the years, said Edwards worked as an intelligence officer and undercover for several years. The source said one of the persons who were there with Edwards that night allegedly enrolled for training classes the Wednesday before and the Friday the incident occurred.
“We are just not bypassing anything at this time and we are monitoring the situation of how everything unfolds and all the information that is coming to hand right now. What we do know is that there is a major cover-up and Muscles would have never been negligent in disarming his firearm and taking his own life…never…we all trained together over the years.”
Guardian Media understands that Edwards, during his intelligence and undercover work, had key information on several high profile cases, including the murder of Dana Seetahal, drug trafficking cases involving businessmen and police officers who were once assigned to the Central Division and cases involving the Judiciary.
According to the TTPS, Edwards was previously named among several other persons in relation to the wounding with intent case involving Dillian Johnson, but investigators did not have sufficient evidence to question him in that matter.
But when these issues were put to a senior police officer, the officer, speaking under anonymity, described the allegation as “total rum shop talk.”