Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Montague decries 'corrupt or broken' FLA - Orders probe into missing Patrick Powell file

Published:Thursday | November 3, 2016 | 11:23 AM
Montague
The sign at the offices of the Firearm Licensing Authority on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.
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The Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) is either corrupt of broken, Minister of National Security Robert Montague has asserted.

The assertion came hours after the revelation by the FLA that an audit of its system revealed that a file related to a gun licence issued to businessman Patrick Powell was discovered missing last month.

Montague told The Gleaner yesterday that he has directed the FLA to conduct an investigation into the missing file.

"The system is broken or corrupted. Either way is not good for the people of Jamaica or the Government," he told The Gleaner.

The minister gave the assurance that the investigation would be open and forthright, saying the people of Jamaica deserve nothing less.

Montague said whether the FLA system is corrupt or broken is not a good situation for the Government and people of Jamaica.

Powell was acquitted last week of murder and shooting with intent arising from the shooting death of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais in Havendale St Andrew in July 2011.

Yesterday, the FLA released the findings of an audit of its systems which confirmed evidence presented during the trial that the businessman was issued a firearm licence for a Glock pistol by the St Andrew South Police in October 2003.

According to the FLA, the audit also found that nearly six months later in April 2004 Powell was given another firearm licence, this time by the Manchester Police for a Walther 9MM pistol.

And it said within days another licence was issued to Police Inspector Patricia Powell-Wallace for the same weapon.

However, the FLA said when the new board of directors demanded Powell's file last month it was discovered that it was nowhere to be found at the state agency.

The FLA said the last established movement of the file was on April 14 last year when an employee in the office of the then chief executive officer made a request from the FLA's registry.