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Audit shows 43 guns missing from FSC

By Nalinee Seelal Thursday, August 21 2014

AN AUDIT carried out at the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) has now revealed that 43 guns remained unaccounted for at the ballistics room located at the second floor of the facility at St James.

Initially it was reported to police that 42 guns comprising of handguns and high-calibre weapons, lodged at the FSC by police officers, had gone missing. However, a new audit has now discovered that 43 guns were stolen.

The log books containing entries of the firearms lodged by police were examined by FSC Deputy Director Emmanuel Walker and a separate audit is still being carried out by the police.

Newsday understands the police audit is yet to be completed and this will furnish investigators with information on how many guns were stolen and if any ammunition was stolen as well.

The ten-member police team led by Snr Supt Oswald Cudjoe of the Port-of-Spain CID has completed taking statements from persons at the FSC who have access to the ballistics room where the guns were stored for safe keeping and for certain tests to be carried out.

Sources said some of the guns were supposed to be tendered into evidence in murder enquiries. Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard is expected to be consulted to determine how to proceed with those court cases which have been compromised as a result of the stolen weapons.

FSC Director Arlette Lewis continues to remain mum on the theft of the guns except for her meetings with the police and staff, and correspondence being sent to the Ministry of Justice on the matter.

However, FSC employees said yesterday that Lewis has ultimate responsibility for the facility.

The Ministry of Justice is to make recommendations to Cabinet for an increased budget for the FSC to beef up security there.

The guns were reportedly stolen between 2013 and June of this year. This led to the police team being appointed to probe their disappearance.

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