Weapons being smuggled from Suriname, US -Jagdeo
June 8, 2003
The heavy weaponry being employed by criminals is being smuggled into the country over the border from Suriname, and in containers from the United States, President Bharrat Jagdeo said yesterday.
Over the past 15 months, gunmen have been committing crimes with impunity while using sophisticated weapons, mainly AK-47’s and M70 assault rifles. After several shootouts involving wanted men, security forces retrieved a number of these weapons, as well as Baretta submachine guns and even rocket launchers, among other things.
Speaking to reporters yesterday at State House, the President said intelligence gleaned suggested that criminals had several sources of weaponry, but he identified Guyana’s eastern neighbour as the main source.
“There are several sources of weaponry. We think that some may be coming across borders, especially the Surinamese border. I had mentioned this to the President of Suriname and he promised a collaboration, but we have had collaboration between the two police forces... We think some weapons may be coming in from the States, through containers or barrels and there are other borders, but specifically these two,” the Head of State said.
The police’s first and largest arms cache was retrieved from a Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown house last October after a day of shootings left seven men dead. Two months later, an army patrol intercepted a vehicle with a quantity of high-powered arms and intelligence equipment, the source of which remains a mystery.
Following the two most recent shootings - one at Friendship, East Coast Demerara early Wednesday morning and the other in Prashad Nagar on Thursday - the forces recovered a number of high-powered weapons.