Caribbean Nationals In The U.S. Aiding Illegal Guns Trade – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

United States-based Caribbean nationals with whom criminal networks have links, are in many cases facilitating the flow of illegal weapons into the region.

The disclosure came from the head of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) in an interview with Cayman Compass.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jones also told the publication that Caribbean cartels are using music promoters and performers as a front for organised crime.

He explained that under the guise of performing, a gang lieutenant might “make all the connections as to when are we going to move, what we are gonna move or, in some instances, who are we going to hit.”

In addition, Jones stated that regional gangs are also setting up franchises‘ in smaller islands, bringing new levels of violence to communities previously unexposed to that degree of gun crime.

According to the Cayman Compass, he predicted new levels of coordination and cooperation would be necessary to properly investigate and dismantle gangs operating in multiple jurisdictions and on the high seas.

The IMPACS official’s remarks came amid an alarming spike in violent crime in several Caribbean countries.

Late last month, Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre asserted that the incidence of crime and violence in the Caribbean presents a public health crisis, surpassed only for the time being by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pierre, responsible for National Security, delivered the keynote address at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) 68th Annual Health Research Conference.

 He told the conference in Saint Lucia that failure is not an option in combatting the crime menace.

In this regard, Pierre advocated a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to crime prevention and control.

He also urged real-time data on trends and dynamics of violent crime in various hot spots, and school interventions.