KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent: – Police in Kingstown are tight-lipped about the location of an “abandoned building” where they discovered a rifle capable of discharging 700-900 rounds per minute and hitting a target 2 kilometres (1.24 miles) away.
They also did not say when they found the A15 M-4 automatic assault rifle, which had a magazine containing nine live rounds of 5.56 ammunition.
The weapon, for which a license cannot be obtained in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was displayed to the local media Monday afternoon.
Commissioner of Police Keith Miller read a prepared statement but did not take question from the media.
He said the gun was discovered “as a result of continuing investigations” and “certain information” received.
The gun can be fired in semi-automatic or automatic mode and has a magazine that can carry 30 bullets.
It uses four types of ammunition: blank, live rounds, tracers, which are used for target indication, and armour-piercing ammunition.
The butt of the firearm can be adjusted to suit the purpose for which the firearm is being used at the time. It can also be fitted with a telescope.
Commissioner Miller said that the smuggling of illegal firearms into SVG continues to be of “great concern” to local police and that the recovery of most of these weapons was intelligence driven.
So far this year, the police have confiscated 57 firearms and 901 round of ammunition.
During the recent Operation Vincy Pac, which included cops from other Caribbean nations, police confiscated 12 guns and 394 rounds of ammunition and shot and killed three men in Vermont, an agricultural community west of here.
Shortly after that operation, Commissioner Miller told a local newspaper that he had instructed his officers to continue to pile on the pressure on criminal elements here.
He told the newspaper that “a number of guns went into hiding” during that operation and a strong police presence kept them off the street during the carnival activities, which ended in early July.
“… With the assistance of local law-abiding citizens and regional and international counterparts, we are continuing to monitor and investigate the movement of these firearms,” he said on Monday
Commissioner Miller said that to date there were nine reported homicides this year, three of which involved firearms. This compares to 16 reported killings in 2008, nine of which resulted from the use of firearms.