Three men were yesterday intercepted with over 50 cartons of various types of fireworks at Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara.
The men, who were nabbed by an alert member of the Community Policing Group (CPG), were also found with a large amount of cash, a price list and a list of shops in the West Demerara area, Stabroek News was told.
Divisional Commander Balram Persaud last evening confirmed the arrest of the men. He said that they would be charged today.
Those in police custody are a 25-year-old man from Uitvlugt Pasture, West Coast Demerara; a 30-year-old of Saffon Street, Charlestown; and a 40-year-old taxi driver of Ketley Street, Charlestown. They had 20 cartons of Crazy Robots; 19 cartons of Crazy King; 11 cartons of Old Dragon fireworks; eight cartons of scratch bombs; and one carton each of magical shots and shatters fireworks. The prohibited items were found in four large boxes in the trunk of the car the men were travelling in.
The CPG member who intercepted the men spotted their Toyota Marino parked in front of the shop at about 1:45 pm yesterday. The man, who asked not to be named, was off-duty at the time but he was driving a CPG vehicle with a police logo and siren. He said he inquired from the men outside what they were doing in the area and they claimed that they were waiting to buy a drink. The third man was inside the shop.
The man said that he became suspicious and decided to remain in the area. He eventually started following the men, who were clearly agitated as they kept looking back.
Though he was alone, the CPG member said, he made a decision to pull the car over and instructed the men to come out and put their hands behind their heads. He said he then asked the driver to “pop the trunk” before calling one of the others to the back of the vehicle to witness what he was doing. The man told Stabroek News that he found the banned items in trunk.
At that point, he said, the person who apparently owned the items started begging for leniency and even tried to bribe him.
The CPG member added that the man told him he was “tryin fuh mek a little hustle” and came up with various explanations for having the items. The man even said that he had smuggled the items from Suriname through Number 63 Beach, Coren-tyne.
The CPG member took the men and the items to the Leonora Police Station, where the matter was reported. “I took a chance even though I was alone,” he added.
Fireworks are prevalent during the holidays and around the Diwali and Christ-mas seasons in particular. Although police have repeatedly issued warnings and instituted charges against persons found in possession of the items, they remain in circulation.