On Saturday, while addressing the Young Jamaica Area Council One conference at the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) headquarters on Belmont Road in St Andrew. Prime Minister Andrew Holness issued a stern warning to both the criminals creating chaos across the nation and the individuals who are supporting them by shipping the illicit firearms: The State will apprehend and punish you.
He mentioned the Government’s efforts to stop the importation of firearms. Holness said he was “working very closely” with American law enforcement. “Those people who are putting the guns in the barrels, I tell you, I am working on that element. We are going to get some of those people who are disassembling the guns and putting them into the rice bag, putting them into the soap, and sending them in the barrels. We are going to get you.”
According to the PM, new laws that would vehemently combat the gun culture, which poses a severe danger to Jamaica’s growth, will soon be enacted.
“The people who think they are importing guns and we don’t know… we are gathering the evidence, putting the case together, and we are putting it before the court. You are not hearing us out there running up our mouth and saying all kinds of things; we are serious about treating with this gun issue,” Holness exclaimed.
The “Get Every Illegal Gun” programme was implemented earlier this year to bolster efforts to stop the illegal entry of firearms via the nation’s ports.
Improvements in technology and enhanced cooperation between the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Customs Agency, the Major Organized Crime and Anti-corruption Agency, and the Jamaica Defense Force were recognised earlier this year by Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security, as contributing factors to the campaign’s success.
The Government said that the campaign includes a reward scheme that pays out between $250,000 and $500,000 for illicit firearms.