Fri | May 20, 2022

Cops mull gun find puzzle; dozens of wanted men listed

Published:Friday | January 28, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, flanked by Liston Tennant (right), crime analyst at the CIB headquarters, and Oral Henry, crime officer for Kingston Central, pore over a list of wanted men from major crime spots across Jamaica. The police hosted
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, flanked by Liston Tennant (right), crime analyst at the CIB headquarters, and Oral Henry, crime officer for Kingston Central, pore over a list of wanted men from major crime spots across Jamaica. The police hosted a press conference at the NCB South Towers on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Fitz Bailey says the police are getting support from their international counterparts in piecing together the puzzle of the major gun find at the Sangster International Airport in St James last week.

There have been no arrests in the case which Gleaner sources indicated last Friday was not a gun-smuggling attempt but a shipping error.

“It’s still being investigated. We’re getting our partners’ support, significant support from our international partners,” Bailey said of the 20 handguns and 40 magazines discovered on Friday.

He was responding to a question about possible arrests during a Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) press conference on Thursday at the Ministry of National Security in St Andrew.

Five boxes of guns were destined for the gun shop, but only four arrived, with one mistakenly shipped to Jamaica, sources have said.

The guns were reportedly coming from the United States where approximately 71 per cent of illegally traded guns have their source.

Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for 2020 indicate that of the 472 firearms traced from Jamaica, 204 were manufactured in the US.

The data for 2021 are not yet available.

A total of 703 illegal guns were seized last year and 626 the year before.

The JCF has indicated that firearms account for 92 per cent of murders this year.

Meanwhile, the police have listed 88 of 200 wanted persons who are believed to have featured in 48 murders, 31 woundings/shootings, and 11 other crimes, including rape.

Bailey said the crimes allegedly committed by the group of suspected criminals, listed as most wanted, are “intolerable and abnormal”.

“We continue to see some vicious, gruesome, and brutal acts of violence being perpetrated by criminal elements. What we are seeing in Jamaica is the use of threats or violence to create fear and intimidation,” said Bailey, who added that the underlying objectives are economic benefits, turf control, and status.

“I appeal to these individuals who are wanted by the police to turn themselves in. I also appeal to their relatives to encourage them to surrender to the police.”

He said the men listed are believed to still be perpetuating crimes.

The DCP warned that persons found to be harbouring the wanted men would be prosecuted.

kimone.francis@gleanerjm.com