– held with illegal shotgun
The arrest of a member of a Berbice Community Policing Group (CPG), following the recovery of an illegal shotgun in his home has raised eyebrows over the activities of the body that is supposed to provide support for the regular police in the fight against crime.
The man was reportedly arrested around 20:30 hours on Tuesday after police found a 12-gauge shotgun stashed in a cupboard at his home in Corentyne.
The man’s house was searched after investigators managed to gather much needed intelligence in their probe of several recent robberies on the Corentyne. They are convinced that the CPG member was part of a gang that carried out the recent attacks in the community.
A police press release stated that the search was conducted on the home of the suspect during investigations into the armed robbery committed on businessman Deochand Hemchand and his wife at No. 11 Village, Corentyne, on Sunday, last, during which Deochand lost a piece of his ear.
During the search a disassembled 12-gauge shotgun, the make and serial number unknown, was found in a kitchen cupboard. The parts comprised the barrel, trigger mechanism, butt and several working portions wrapped in a white towel, a multi-coloured vest, a multi-coloured jersey and a manure bag.
In is defence, the CPG member claimed that he found the gun in a clump of bushes at the waterside.
A police source in Berbice told this newspaper that information on the man was obtained from another suspect who was arrested in a police dragnet which was part of the investigations into the robberies.
The other suspect had reportedly admitted to being part of a gang that had been targeting returning Guyanese as well as being in involved in piracy. He told investigators that they would normally rent the shotgun from the CPG member to commit their criminal acts.
“The administration needs to be more careful who they are attracting as CPG members. It has become so easy to join. In this case these people have a good local knowledge of the communities they are working in but instead of patrolling, they are robbing people and using the CPG as cover,” the source said.
This newspaper was informed that the seized shotgun has been sent for ballistics testing to determine at which crime scenes it was used. Charges are expected to be instituted shortly.
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