SE­CU­RITY MIN­IS­TER DE­CRIES ‘COR­RUPT OR BRO­KEN’ FLA

Or­ders probe into miss­ing Patrick Pow­ell file

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

THE FIREARMS Li­cens­ing Author­ity (FLA) is ei­ther cor­rupt or bro­ken, Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Robert Mon­tague has as­serted.

The as­ser­tion came hours af­ter the rev­e­la­tion by the FLA that an au­dit of its sys­tem has re­vealed that a file re­lated to a gun li­cence is­sued to busi­ness­man Patrick Pow­ell was dis­cov­ered miss­ing last month.

Mon­tague told The Gleaner yes­ter­day that he has di­rected the FLA to con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the miss­ing file.

“The sys­tem is bro­ken or cor­rupted. Ei­ther way, it is not good for the peo­ple of Ja­maica or the Govern­ment,” he told The Gleaner.

The min­is­ter gave the as­sur­ance that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be open and forth­right, say­ing the peo­ple of Ja­maica de­served noth­ing less.

Mon­tague said whether the FLA sys­tem was cor­rupt or bro­ken, it was not a good sit­u­a­tion for the Govern­ment and peo­ple of Ja­maica.

Pow­ell was ac­quit­ted last week of mur­der and shoot­ing with in­tent aris­ing from the shoot­ing death of 17-year-old Kingston Col­lege stu­dent Kha­jeel Mais in Haven­dale, St An­drew, in July 2011.

LI­CENCE IS­SUED TWICE

Yes­ter­day, the FLA re­leased the find­ings of an au­dit of its sys­tems, which con­firmed ev­i­dence pre­sented dur­ing the trial that the busi­ness­man had been is­sued a firearm li­cence for a Glock pis­tol by the St An­drew South Po­lice in Oc­to­ber 2003.

Ac­cord­ing to the FLA, the au­dit also found that nearly six months later, in April 2004, Pow­ell was given an­other firearm li­cence, this time by the Manch­ester Po­lice, for a Walther 9MM pis­tol.

And it said that within days, an­other li­cence was is­sued to Po­lice In­spec­tor Pa­tri­cia Pow­ell-Wal­lace for the same weapon.

How­ever, the FLA said when the new board of direc­tors de­manded Pow­ell’s file last month, it was dis­cov­ered that it was nowhere to be found at the state agency.

The FLA said the last estab­lished move­ment of the file was on April 14 last year when an em­ployee in the of­fice of the then chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer made a re­quest from the FLA’s registry.

MON­TAGUE

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