PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad and Tobago police Wednesday said they had seized more than TT$109 million and confiscated an estimated 2,100 illegal firearms and 37,000 rounds of assorted ammunition over a three year period.
In a statement, the Trinidad and Police Service (TTPS) said that the 2,158 firearms, and 37,000 rounds of assorted ammunition were seized since 2015 and that more than TT$109.6 million in cocaine and marijuana had been seized last year, while so far this year, the figure stood at TT$30.7 million.
“Over the comparative period of January to August 2016 and 2017, the TTPS has had notable success in the recovery of illegal arms and ammunition. Whilst it is difficult to measure the quantity of firearms entering the country, the efforts of the TTPS, across the nine policing divisions, with firearm recovery should be noted.
“Additionally, approximately 37,000 rounds of assorted ammunition have been seized since 2015. The TTPS further seized 691 and 765 firearms for 2015 and 2016 respectively. While 702 firearms have been seized for 2017 thus far. Of the nine divisions, the majority of seizures were made in the Northern, Western and Southern divisions. Of these 2,158 firearms seized for the period overall, the largest categories were that of pistols and revolvers,” the statement noted.
The police praised several state agencies for the reduction in drug supply, noting “whilst the threat of firearms is real and ever so evident, the effects of the narcotic scourge is equally as devastating and contribute to the loss and diminished quality of life locally
“The effort in drug supply reduction by local agencies such as Customs and Excise, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard , security agencies at all ports of entry should not go unnoticed and for this the TTPS commends them for their efforts.
“These supply reduction efforts, which represent illegal narcotic seizures and eradications, are only one aspect; as the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB) and other external stakeholders continue to engage in Demand Reduction exercises, such as lectures and displays. These demand reduction exercises are geared toward diminishing the appetite and interest in illegal narcotics, catering to persons of all ages”, the release noted.
The police said that a number of first time offenders had been held noting “these offenders are not limited to unemployed persons seeking financial gain but also professionals, who are otherwise employed in high paying jobs”. – CMC