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Police storm Rose Place in ‘Operation Illegal Guns’

Police storm Rose Place in ‘Operation Illegal Guns’

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Over 100 police officers from various branches of the local constabulary swooped down on the fishing community of Rose Place on Wednesday morning.

Residents of the tiny community on the north western edge of Kingstown were awakened by police officers at about 4 a.m., at which time, an approximately six-hour search commenced.

Doors were ripped from hinges and homes raided in what has gone down in history as an historic operation, the first ever of its kind in St Vincent and the Grenadines, because of the nature of the warrant used.{{more}}

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Christopher Benjamin, the operation conducted on Wednesday was dubbed ‘Operation Illegal Guns in Rose Place’ or ‘Operation IGIRP’ and had as its objective to remove illegal guns from the community, which is known for gun violence, and 12 months ago saw a four-year-old child being wounded during a shoot-out between gunmen.

According to ACP Benjamin, the police used “a one of a kind search warrant, the first ever applied here, in that the search warrant did not target one person, but gave us the authority to search any house in the area.”

He said that most persons cooperated, but some felt that their rights were being violated and therefore complained.

A number of persons claimed that they were ill-treated by members of the search party, while a St Lucian man accused the police of removing EC$4,700 and US$40 from the home where he was staying and claiming they know nothing about it.

The operation netted marijuana, including a mature marijuana plant, cocaine and one firearm. Sums of money and a number of contraband items, including foreign beers, were seized.

One man is said to have been found with EC$7,000 in his pocket and an unspecified amount of crack cocaine. Five persons were detained.

A resident of the area said that police may have descended on the community after hearing reports of suspicious boating activity on the community’s waterfront late Tuesday night.

Police are expected to release a report soon. (LC)

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