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Tuesday 18 June 2019
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Police seize 40 submachine guns in 3 years

ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi has expressed concern about an increase in the number of submachine guns seized by the police.

He was piloting debate on the Bail (Amendment) Bill in the Senate on Tuesday and read statistics from the police Crime and Problem Analysis branch from 2009 up to May 7 this year.

He reported 6,387 firearms were seized. These were disaggregated into: pistol, rifle, revolver, shotgun, home-made shotgun, trap gun, flare gun, machine gun, air rifle and submachine guns.

He said in terms of submachine guns there were none seized from 2009 to 2016, but 43 in the past three years: 23 in 2017, 14 in 2018 and six in 2019.

"One submachine gun, as we have seen as a matter of fact in TT, sprayed into a crowd indiscriminately killing children, killing fathers holding their babies' hands. We now have them in this country, honourable senators," he said.

The porosity of TT's borders must be factored into the state of the country, he said.

"We do not have offshore patrol vessels patrolling our waters. That boat, or rather those three boats, sailed to Brazil and are now in the Brazilian navy labelled as Trinidad-class vessels. That was the decision of the last government."

Al-Rawi said the country was dealing with being a two-island state where the borders are under challenge.

"We are dealing with arms and ammunition coming in from outside our jurisdiction. We are dealing with the prevalence of submachine guns, shotguns and rifles where we had none in the period prior to this tenure right now."

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