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Convicted murderers among people allegedly granted gun licences

Friday, August 10, 2018

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NEW YORK, USA (CMC) – A Brooklyn, New York-based Guyanese group has called on the David Granger Administration in Guyana to conduct an urgent audit of gun permits and gun dealership licences in the Caribbean Community member-state.

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) said that it was “gravely concerned about the insouciant and reckless induction of unsavoury characters as supernumerary constables by the Guyana Police Force (GPF), as well as the indiscriminate and cavalier issuance of gun permits and gun dealership licences by the GPF during the PPP (Peoples Progressive Party) Administration”.

“Recent events establish that the GPF did not conduct proper background checks before issuing these instruments,” said CGID president Rickford Burke. “These are acts of malfeasance and gross negligence that threaten public safety and national security.

“We, therefore, call on the Granger Administration to undertake an urgent audit of all persons who were sworn into the GPF as supernumerary constables and issued precepts to become armed security guards, as well as of individuals or companies that were issued gun permit and gun dealership licences under the PPP Government,” he added.

Burke said Guyana's crime chief, Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Williams, told reporters that on August 2 a security guard, who served 20 years for murder in the US and was deported to Guyana, “used a different identity to become a GPF supernumerary constable”.

Burke said the guard was “consequently issued with a precept to be an armed security guard.

“This said guard was involved in a confrontation with a Government minister, while armed with a high-powered assault rifle,” he charged. “CGID commends this guard for his obvious desire of productive citizenship, and, in no way, wishes to disparage his character.

“Rather, we highlight a serous public safety and national security threat; that is, guns in the hands of persons convicted of gun and other violent crimes,” Burke added. “It is frightening to contemplate that a convicted murderer, through dubious identity, infiltrated the GPF to become a peace officer with a permit to carry a firearm.

“This is a dangerous threat to public safety and national security,” Burke declared.

He noted that, recently, a Russian mining operative, who allegedly tortured and assaulted local miners, was seen in a video assaulting and brandishing a gun on another Guyanese miner.

Burke said the Russian is said to have also displayed a GPF precept permitting him to bear arms.

He said the GPF has “confirmed the Russians are, indeed, supernumerary constables and authorised to bear arms.

“It is essential that an audit of the issuance of these precepts and gun licences be conducted urgently to determine whether there is corruption or gross negligence occurring in the GPF,” Burke said.

“How many more persons who were previously convicted of firearms offences or serious violent crimes, or unsavoury characters, have infiltrated the GPF and have been appointed supernumerary officers, issued with precepts and permitted to carry a firearm or issued a gun dealership licence?” he asked.

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