Venezuelans trading guns, ammo with Trinidadians for food
PORT OF SPAIN - Venezuelans and residents of Trinidad and Tobago are reportedly bartering on the high seas, where arms and ammunition are sold or exchanged for food and basic commodities.
These trades also take place at some of Trinidad and Tobago’s remote coastal ports, according to ASP Vernly Gift of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB), speaking at a weekly press briefing in Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday.
He said officers operated mainly on intelligence gathering that resulted in seizures but what was needed was greater monitoring of the numerous ports of entry scattered along the coastline, the Trinidad Guardian reported.
Information, he said, was that most guns and ammunition entering the country originated from the South American mainland and North America. With regard to guns and ammunition originating from North America, he said, the illegal weapons were usually concealed in shipping barrels, shipping containers, household appliances, such as washing machines, stoves, refrigerators and water heaters.
“These items are cleared and received by the consignees at the legitimate ports of entry,” Gift said, adding that with the use of technology and greater co-operation from members of the public there has been an increase in the seizure of illegal guns.