Majority of illegal guns in Guyana smuggled from US, Brazil – GPF

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum

Serious crimes in Guyana are becoming more weaponised with the proliferation of guns manufactured in Brazil and brought into Guyana through the town of Lethem.

As such, the Guyana Police Force said it is working to stem the flow of these guns across the Brazil-Guyana border.

According to Crime Chief Wendell Blahnum, for this year, the Police Force managed to take 68 illegal guns off the streets, and most of these weapons, they found are being manufactured in Brazil.

“We have taken out of circulation 68 illegal firearms. Region Four ‘A’ has the highest rate of illegal firearms seized. Revolvers accounted for the highest type of illegal firearms taken out of circulation…followed by shotguns.

“The main origin of illegal firearms is the United States of America followed by our neighbour Brazil.”

Regarding Brazil, he said the Taurus Pistol represents a significant amount of the illegal firearms coming from that country.

“The Taurus weapons are produced from Brazil. Our investigations have so far revealed that Lethem is the main transit point for these weapons which go largely towards principal destinations in Region Four ‘A’  and other distribution networks across the country.”

The issue of illegal firearms has been a longstanding concern but from all indications more and more of these weapons and ending up in the hands of criminals.

In 2014, former Crime Chief Leslie James revealed that from 2011 to 2014, the Guyana Police Force was seizing illegal weapons which are being made in neighbouring Brazil.

He stated that based on the police’s records Brazilian-type weapons are the choice of criminals.

James also pointed out that Brazilians travel to Guyana illegally for mining purposes with their weapons on them.

Those weapons he said are usually confiscated by the police during raids and other operations.