Police net guns, ammunition, mask and fake cash
An intelligence driven operation carried out by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) on Tuesday netted five illegal firearms and over 70 rounds of assorted ammunition.
Up to press time, five persons in the age group 20 to 40 years old were detained while investigations continue, but according to the police, it is unlikely that any of them will be charged in relation to the illegal haul.
Taken off the streets are two 12-gauge shotguns, one MK rifle, one .357 Magnum revolver and one Glock 23 pistol.
Also found were 56 rounds of 5.6 ammunition, eight rounds of .9 mm ammunition, six shotgun cartridges and six rounds of .357 ammunition. A white face mask, two extended magazines and three parcels wrapped up to look like money were also found during the operation.
During a press conference at Police Headquarters in Kingstown yesterday, where the illegal items were displayed to the media, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frankie Joseph told reporters that the seizure was made in the Diamond area.
Head of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) Superintendent Timothy Hazelwood said all the weapons are operational. He said that the MK rifle was the most significant of the haul as it is a very powerful American made weapon.
“The MK1 has a range of 550 metres and the effective range is 100 meters…you can hold it with one hand and fire it like a pistol with the same effect,” explained Hazelwood, who added that other weapons of a similar nature need to be held with both hands.
The MK can also be put in semiautomatic and automatic mode and uses 5.56 ammunition just like the M16. Hazelwood said that the weapon is built for many different conditions including underwater operations. The magazine can hold 30 rounds.
Commenting, deputy commissioner Joseph thanked the public for continuing to work with the police and promised that the RSVGPF will continue to do its best to make sure that citizens are safe.
“Our police officers have been working very hard and tirelessly and this is not a fight that we are going to overcome in a day or a month. This fight is going to be continuous because as we know criminals are not going to give up and we are not going to let them hold the public of St Vincent and the Grenadines at ransom, it is not going to happen,” Joseph promised.
He said recently, a few police officers in the operational units have received threats, but that will not deter the police.
“These threats have been sent to our police officers from criminals…these threats have been sent not face to face, but sent to them and they have received these threats over a period of a few months….
“We are going to be relentless in this fight because the citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines must be able to go throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines without having to be looking over their shoulders,” stated Joseph.
He said police officers are always on the street, but it is unfortunate that there are not enough police officers to police every street across the country.
“We know that is not going to be possible, so we are calling on the general public to continue to assist us with whatever information they get because in the fight of crime, police cannot do this alone and the police joined with the government cannot do this alone. In order for us to overcome these criminals, we must have the support of the public and we have been getting that because this fight we cannot do it alone,” Joseph commented.
As it relates to the guns, Joseph said that it may not be possible to charge anyone for the crime, but they are glad to have the weapons off the streets.
“There are instances where operations are being conducted and we are not able to charge someone. We do not practice illegal charging and we will only charge anyone if we have evidence and one of the things, we have never practised is [to] pad any charge.
“We are still conducting investigations,” the deputy commissioner explained while noting that the items were found in different locations but refused to disclose those locations.