No practice of allowing unauthorised possession of guns – GDF

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has said that there has never been nor is there now a “culture” within its administration and operations that allows any of its members to be in unlawful possession of its weapons.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the army refuted a statement attributed to attorney Patrice Henry, who in defence of his client, a soldier charged with unlawful possession of an army-issued handgun, told the court that “it is the culture of the arms store to allow him to carry guns.”

The GDF said the statement attributed to Henry, and published in various sections of the media, is “entirely without merit.”

Lance Corporal

Devon Harris
Devon Harris

Devon Harris, 34, a serving member of the GDF for at least 12,  was remanded to prison when he on Tuesday appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court charged with stealing an FN pistol, valued at $35,000 and property of the GDF. Harris pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The theft occurred between December 27 and January 4. It was also alleged that between December 27 and January 3, at Harris’s Friendship home, he had the pistol in his possession without being the owner of a gun licence.

Prosecutor Bharat Mangru had told the court that a physical check was conducted on the said date at the armoury at Base Camp Stephenson and the firearm was discovered missing. During investigations, Harris was found with the weapon while he was not on duty. According to Mangru, off-duty officers are not authorised to remove firearms. Further, he noted that the accused is not a licensed firearm holder.

In response, Henry had told the court that his client has been working at the arms store at Base Camp Stephenson and would normally have possession of the firearm. He also said that this was known and had never before been a problem as it is the culture of the arms store to allow officers to carry guns. Harris was ordered to appear in the Providence Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The Guyana Defence Force Security Standing Orders set out very clearly the procedures to be followed by its arms stores personnel regarding the issuance of the force’s weapons, the army, however, said. “These Orders expressly permit GDF Officers and Ranks to be in possession of its weapons only in the execution of their military duty,” it added     . Further, it noted that as an arms store personnel, Harris could not have issued to himself any weapon from the GDF’s arm stores as this would be in direct contravention of the Security Standing Orders; nor was he permitted to have a weapon in his possession when not on military duty.

“It is instructive to note that an authority to issue document has to be signed by the Commanding Officer, for a weapon to be issued to any rank,” the GDF said. The force categorically denies that that there has ever been nor is there currently a “culture” within its administration and operations that facilitates, encourages or allows for any of its members to be in an unlawful possession of the force’s weapons or ammunition.


Prisoners in Lusignan holding area hand over 33 improvised weapons

The improvised weapons (Prisons photo) Prison Staff this morning with the support of the members of the other services, reported for duty at the new holding area lusignan Prison.

Regional nations plus U.S. condemn Venezuela’s new constituent assembly

Nicolas Maduro CARACAS/LIMA, (Reuters) – A group of 12 regional nations plus the United States rejected Venezuela’s new government-allied legislative superbody, saying they would continue to regard the opposition-controlled congress as the country’s only legitimate law maker.

18 Lusignan prisoners hurt after reported bid to kill ‘informant’

Eighteen prisoners at the Lusignan penitentiary were being treated for injuries last night following a reported attempt to kill a fellow inmate during which warders fired shots.

Girl, 12, crushed to death by LBI house

A 12-year-old girl is now dead, while her brother narrowly escaped a similar fate yesterday after their aunt’s La Bonne Intention (LBI), East Coast Demerara house, which they were under, collapsed on them.

By ,

Guyana applies to key EU watchdog on natural resources revenues

Guyana has officially applied for membership in the European Union’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which will help in tracking revenues from oil and other natural resources.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now