New developments in illegal gun shipment probe
AS the probe continues into the seizure in Miami of an illegal shipment of 119 guns and a large quantity of magazines and ammunition destined for Jamaica last month, new developments were revealed yesterday involving the woman alleged to be the consignee.
A document obtained by the Jamaica Observer showed that the woman’s name was included on a list of people for whom payment in the amount of $25,000 was requested for office/administration support to councillors in the 17 divisions of the St James Municipal Corporation last month.
The woman was listed as having provided the service for Michael Troupe, the People’s National Party (PNP) councillor for the Granville Division.
Last Friday, the Opposition PNP said it was aware of uncorroborated information circulating on social media linking an individual in the gun find to Troupe.
The party said it understood that the person named as consignee is a former employee of Troupe. It said it had been in touch with Troupe, who indicated that the person who is now the focus of the investigation left his employment some three months ago.
Yesterday, Troupe told the Observer that it was not unusual for workers to receive their earnings late.
In fact, Troupe disclosed that the late payment was among the reasons that the woman walked off the job.
“She left the first week in October. All when October done she don’t get pay. She got paid three weeks ago? Yes! She got paid, I think the 17th of November. At that time she left the work long time,” Troupe said. “The money is always late. What is so hard to believe in that?”
He pointed out that the worker who replaced the woman was also paid in November.
Several attempts were made by the Observer yesterday to contact Mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Homer Davis, but he did not answer any of our calls to his cellular phone.
Meanwhile, head of Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, confirmed yesterday that the accused woman was detained on reasonable suspicion of conspiracy to import guns and ammunition after surrendering to the police approximately 9:00 am.
The woman’s attorney, Oswest Senior-Smith, told the Observer that his client had remained in custody.
Yesterday, Julian Robinson, general secretary of the PNP, said he would be meeting with Councillor Troupe and would comment afterwards.
The guns and more than 200 assorted rounds of ammunition were discovered by US Customs and Border Protection and Outbound Enforcement Team at Miami International Airport on November 13.