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The barrel of guns found at the Medway warehouse at Old Southern Main Road, off St Mary’s Junction, yesterday.

The Downtown Merchants Association (DOMA) says the discovery of a cache of lethal weapons for the second time at a warehouse in central Trinidad is an indication of something that is taking place specifically at that location. In a press release issued today, DOMA stated “one must instinctively ask the question; “is yesterday’s discovery the only shipment of arms passing through that same warehouse since an identical shipment last year ?”

The following is a press release from DOMA:

The discovery yesterday of a shipment of nineteen assault rifles and assorted 9mm handguns at a bonded warehouse in Central Trinidad is a startling incident that should not pass without great scrutiny and determined investigation.

At a time when so much is being said about the function of the public services and the need for their improved performance, the seriousness of that need is highlighted by the deadly consequences that can flow from passage of such shipments of assault weapons and ammunition into our country.

With the business community constantly the subject of unsubstantiated innuendo and the fodder for talk show hosts and social media rabble-rousers we want to say with indignant regret that this was the perfect opportunity to set a trap and to pounce on whichever person or persons came to claim this barrel of deadly content. This was once again a classic textbook moment to identify who is letting the guns pass into our country.

The fact that this is the second occasion on which this type of lethal cargo has come to the same bonded warehouse must be an indication of something that is taking place specifically at that location. One must instinctively ask the question; “is yesterday’s discovery the only shipment of arms passing through that same warehouse since an identical shipment last year ?”

It is left to be seen whether the often made promises about securing our borders will lead to any interdiction and arrest regarding this barrel of guns. It is, in our view, important to indicate that a bonded warehouse is, according to the laws of Trinidad & Tobago a port of entry and the incident yesterday is actually a breach of one of our borders.

At a time when the reports of dead bodies being found all across our country are more rampant than ever and images of mothers crying for their murdered sons is becoming a permanent feature of our news, it seems to us that this discovery of so many dangerous weapons should be an urgent priority for multiple state agencies who should begin by questioning themselves as to how this could be happening in our Country. The fact that so many victims are reporting the when they are attacked all of the perpetrators have guns is further cause for the situation at this warehouse to be solved.

Shipments of cargo from overseas require rigorous declarations; Documentation, verifiable identification; Description of contents and a Bill of Lading that includes weights and dimensions. Surely the excessive weight of this barrel must have been a clue that something was wrong?

We wish to applaud the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service for removing this latest threat from our midst but we wish to add that it will not be an effective protection of our citizens until and unless the exporters and local consignees of these weapons are arrested and brought to justice.