Moonilal has Questions for ‘Smoked Out’ Young

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By Prior Beharry

OROPOUCHE MP Dr Roodal Moonilal wants to know under what circumstances did Energy Minister Stuart Young handed in a “deadly weapon” to the police.

At a United National Congress (UNC) press conference on Sunday he showed a picture of a Springfield Saint Edge 5.56 pistol he claimed Young gave to the Multi-Operational Police Squad (MOBS) under the Special Branch.

Dr Moonilal said although it was a pistol it was classified as an “assault weapon” because of the length of its barrel.

The Guardian reported that Young confirmed that he donated a legal weapon to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and that the possession and disposal of any firearm must be authorised by the police commissioner.

Young said he abided by the law and that the weapon was not a semi-automatic gun.

He said, “My action was of my own volition and I stand by it.”

The matter of a government minister handing in a gun was first raised by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the Local Government campaign trail.

And in a release on Monday, Dr Moonilal said that Young was “smoked out” to make a confession about the gun.

He said, “This matter has been in the public domain for over three weeks. Minister Young only confessed after being smoked out.”

Dr Moonilal had a few questions for Young:

  • Why he went to the police armoury and not his district police station as required to dispose of a deadly weapon?
  • It must be clear that Minister Young took the firearm himself to the police and did not illegally transfer it to someone else to take it for him as an agent;
  • Why exactly did he choose to return a firearm after recently acquiring same?
  • He must state when he applied to the Commisioner of Police (CoP) to dispose of his weapon and when did the CoP give permission to dispose of same;
  • Young must also state when he received the licence for the gun that he donated and on what date was the weapon bought;
  • He must reveal the price of the gun, its brand model and serial number, and when the weapon was registered;
  • Was Young the only owner of this gun?
  • Or was it “gifted” to him as well?
  • He must indicate whether the gun was recalibrated and if so the nature of any alteration?
  • Young must tell Trinidad and Tobago how many guns are in his possession?
  • Why, in the first place, he felt the need to have such firepower given that he has had state security for the duration of his stay in government;
  • Young must state whether the weapon was ever used and under what circumstances;
  • He must state what about this weapon caused him to deliver it to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service;
  • Did he become impaired and unable to use the weapon?
  • Why did he dispose of this weapon?
  • Is he suddenly impaired in any relevant way to prevent him from using this weapon?
  • As a former minister of nationals ecurity, he must enlighten the country on whether it is customary for weapons to be donated to the police?

Dr Moonilal also called on Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher the to disclose what is the practice, procedure and policy they have adopted in order to receive donations of firearms and ammunition from citizens, including the donor Young.

He said the top cop may also indicate how many private citizens have donated their legal  firearms to the TTPS over the past ten years and under what circumstances.


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