Former CANU officer on illegal weapon, ammo charges

A former member of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) officer was yesterday arraigned on charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Roberto Osborne appeared in a city court where he denied that he had a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol without a licence on April 9. He also denied that he on the same day he had 11 live rounds, when the charges were read by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

It is the police’s case that on the day in question, at 6:50pm, police on patrol in the vicinity of Princes Street observed Osborne acting in a suspicious manner in a yard. According to prosecutor Michael Grant, when the defendant realised that the police saw him, he went to the back of the yard and threw something in a trench. When the police officers searched the trench, Grant added, they found a firearm and Osborne was subsequently arrested.

Osborne’s lawyer, Gordon Gilhuys, argued that his client could not be blamed for the weapon, since he along with several others were in the very yard playing dominoes.

The Chief Magistrate then interjected and informed Gilhuys that a police rank’s statement alleged that the rank observed Osborne with a silver object heading to the back of the yard and then throwing it in the trench. According to her, the statement also mentioned that the ranks had seen bubbles from the area the object was thrown in the trench and from where the gun was recovered.

Grant objected to bail, saying that no special reasons were offered by the defence. That objection was upheld and the Chief Magistrate, who remanded Osborne to prison. The case was transferred to Georgetown Magistrates’ Court Five, where it will be called on April 29.









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