GuySuCo claims firearms, ammunition ‘unlawfully’ held by NICIL-SPU

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In another of their familiar public brawls, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is now claiming that the Government’s privatization arm NICIL and the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) it created are now unlawfully holding arms and ammunition of the Corporation.

Both GuySuCo and NICIL-SPU are Government agencies but have been involved in a public spat, with GuySuCo saying that NICIL-SPU wants to assume ministerial oversight and act as “landlord.”

In a statement on Wednesday, GuySuCo said the arms and ammunition were acquired and issued to its Security Department as part of its resources to execute its security mandate.

“These arms and ammunition are located at the Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates and are currently being unlawfully used by representatives and agents of NICIL-SPU,” GuySuCo stated.

The Corporation said that the estates were closed in December of 2017, and since then NICIL-SPU has been refusing to return the firearms and ammunition under a claim that they were vested as a part of Skeldon and Rose Hall Estates.

“The Corporation would like to inform NICIL-SPU that firearms cannot be vested; and these weapons are licensed exclusively to the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc.,” GuySuCo stated.

The Corporation went on to quote the laws, saying that under the Firearms Act, Chapter 16:05, Section 16 (1) “no person shall purchase, acquire or have in his possession any firearm or ammunition to which this Part applies unless he holds a firearm licence in force at the time.”

Section 16 (2) of the Act further states, GuySuCo noted, that “if any person purchases, acquires or has in his possession any firearm or ammunition to which this Part applies without holding a firearm licence in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a license, or, in case of ammunition in quantities in excess of those so authorised, shall be liable…”

GuySuCo said the matter was duly reported months ago to the Commissioner of Police and other relevant authorities but is still awaiting the return of the firearms and ammunition to the Corporation.

“The Corporation is requesting that the relevant authorities act speedily to ensure that the weapons and ammunition are returned.

“The Corporation, its officers, employees, servants and agents shall not be liable for any injuries, loss of life, damage to property or any other claims resulting from the use and/or misuse of the said firearms and ammunition at the abovementioned two Estates from 31 December, 2017 to the date when they are returned to the Corporation’s possession,” GuySuCo stated.

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