Appearing before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, yesterday, was Jamal Murphy, who allegedly tried to clear a massive cache of high-powered rifles, pistols and ammunition at the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) wharf.
Murphy, 21, of Lot 40 Vigilance South, East Coast Demerara (ECD) is accused of having 489 live rounds of ammunition in his possession on May 8, at the GNIC wharf when he was not the holder of a firearm licence.
He was also charged with having 17 guns in his possession without being the holder of a firearm licence.
He pleaded not guilty to both charges at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and was remanded to prison.
According to the police while GRA officials were processing a cargo consignment reportedly imported by Murphy, at the GNIC Wharf, a cache of arms and ammunition comprising two AK 47 Rifles, four .40 pistols, eleven 9mm. pistols, fifteen extra magazines for the firearms, 489 various caliber rounds for the firearms and a body protection vest was uncovered
His attorney, Tanicia Shanell Daniels, during her bail application, asked for her client to be released on reasonable bail. She argued that Murphy has a fixed placed of abode while pleading with the court to exercise leniency considering the defendant’s age.
Counsel informed the court that on the day in question, her client visited the wharf expecting to uplift a box with food stuff sent for him by a relative.
However, Police Prosecutor Bharrat Mangru contradicted her submissions. He argued that the accused was at the location to uplift the box containing the guns and ammunition.
In fact, Mangru related that the accused told the police that he was sent to uplift the items and deliver them to David George.
Mangru’s facts recalled that around 11:00hrs, on May 8, at the GNIC wharf, Custom officers were checking a cartoon box that was shipped by Ron Murphy to the defendant.
Upon examining the box a firearm was found in a haversack. As a result the officers halted the search and contacted the defendant. He was instructed to visit the wharf in order for officials to continue the search in his presence.
When he arrived the box was further searched and the remaining firearms along with ammunition were found.
The accused was told of the offence, arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). However, the attorney contended that her client had never seen the box before.
She added that it is impossible that the box was searched in his presence.
According to Police Prosecutor Bharrat Mangru, under caution the accused provided police with an oral statement admitting that he had knowledge of the contents of the box.
The lawyer denied that her client never provided the police with a statement. She stressed that the oral statement could have easily been fabricated.
The court was also asked by the prosecutor to deny the accused his pre trial liberty because he is a flight risk. Mangru explained that the accused provided the police with three different addresses while in custody.
But the lawyer explained that the defendant has relatives at the addresses given and he would usually stay at them from time to time.
Jamal Murphy will make his next court appearance on Thursday, before Magistrate Judy Latchman.
Last Friday Customs officials unearthed an arms cache of high-powered rifles, pistols and ammunition at GNIC.
According to police and customs sources some two Ak-47 assault rifles, some 13.9mm pistols and several rounds of ammunition were found in a crate that had been shipped from Miami.
The shipping agent was identified as Trans Caribbean Cargo International (TCCI), while the weapons were reportedly acquired from Springfield Armory, USA.
According to reports, a female customs officer decided to check the crate after observing that it was somewhat larger than other shipment crates. After removing some food items, the official saw two AK-47 rifles in a military-style haversack. On checking further, customs ranks found fifteen 9mm pistols in the same crate as well as matching ammunition for the weaponry.
Apart from that, the police on Sunday issued a wanted bulletin for Mark Cromwell, also known as ‘Demon’. A release said that Cromwell, 33, of Lot 40 Vigilance ECD and Lot 10 Buxton, ECD, is wanted in connection with possession of firearms and ammunition.
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