Provisional FUL Costs Businessman his Life – Griffith

Spread the love

By Sue-Ann Wayow

IF Chaguanas businessman Rishard Ali who was shot and killed in a carjacking had gotten his licensed firearm, he may have been alive today.

This is according to political leader of the National Transformation Alliance (NTA) Gary Griffith who issued two video statements on Wednesday and a written one on Thursday. Griffith, former police commissioner said Ali received provisional approval for a firearm over 18 months ago, but never got his Firearm User’s License (FUL).

He said the reason that law-abiding citizens could not get their FULs was because of “harassment and intimidation” of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) by the Government.

Griffith also said that National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds appeared to attempt to throw CoP Erla Christopher under the bus by stating Christopher said that “robust and thorough processes were not observed in the past.”

File photo: Former Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

He said Hinds was continuing a false narrative that legal firearms were an issue when the only issue was when Griffith was CoP with government ministers harassing him for FULs for their close associates, with some 60 requests alone coming from Hinds, his boss and a former acting CoP.

Griffith contended that under his tenure as CoP, the issuance of an FUL went through the most “robust and thorough process” in the history of the TTPS. 

He said, “The evidence to support this is also clear, since not one of the 4000 firearms issued between 2018 and 2021 has been lost, stolen, misplaced, had a negligent discharge, or was involved in any crime whatsoever. 

“Dozens of times however, they have been involved in protecting the lives of their owners, their loved ones and their assets.”

He also said that he personally did not do the investigations which allowed Ali to acquire his provisional certificate nor did he do the same for the hundreds of others who acquired theirs and were  still waiting on their FULs. 

“It was the men and women of the TTPS, which means that they have already gone through a “robust and thorough assessment”, and as such, nothing but political interference and intimidation appears to be stopping the issuance of the FULs,” Griffith said.

Crime – a product of opportunity 

On the topic of home invasions, Griffith spoke about the measures he had put in place.

He said before August 2021, there was no major concern about home invasions due to the measures and proper leadership and that crime was a “product of opportunity.”

AZP Ad 1 advertise here

Together with the Operational Command Centre, the National Operations Centre, GPS tracking on police vehicles and police vehicles designated for emergencies, that deterred criminals from home invasions.

Griffith said, “We had 90 police vehicles known as emergency response patrol, 10 police vehicles in almost every division forming a blanket around Trinidad and Tobago, so at any time if you have a 999 call, you can have a response in less than five minutes. 

“That provided the deterrent and that is why we did not have home invasions because we were able to peg back the criminal elements and they knew the product of opportunity is no longer there.”

Griffith also said  government did not care about the average citizen, as long as they and their people had the means to protect themselves and should be democratically removed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *