Black Immigrant Daily News
CRIME SCENE: Spent bullet casings bearing the TTR (Trinidad and Tobago Regiment) stamp on it have been found at several crime scenes, including murders, in recent times. In the latest incident, nine spent shells with the TTR markings were recovered at the scene of a New Year’s day shooting in Maloney. FILE PHOTO –
ONCE again, spent bullet shells with the markings TTR (Trinidad and Tobago Regiment) have been found at a crime scene despite claims of ignorance by the Regiment, and assurances by the National Security Minister that measures have been implemented to clamp down on the illegal use of military weapons and ammunition.
In the latest incident, a 42-year-old woman barely escaped with her life after being shot at on New Year’s Day in Maloney. Police investigating that incident, confirmed the presence of spent shells at the crime scene bearing what appears to be regiment markings.
Police said that at about 12 pm on Monday, the woman of building 15 was liming at the south western corner of that building when two gunmen entered and shot at her.
Businessman Nigel Mootoo, shot dead by gunmen using regiment-issued ammunition. – PHOTO COURTESY MOOTOO FAMILY
She was hit in the left shoulder by the gunmen who then ran off.
Residents took her to hospital where she was treated and warded in stable condition.
A report was made to police and officers including those from CSI (Crime Scene Investigations) processed the scene and found seven spent 9mm shell casings all bearing the markings TTR on the back.
In recent months, several shooting incidents, including murders, have all borne one common denominator – spent shells with regiment markings being found at the scenes.
There are special markings stamped on the metal casings of ammunition issued to specific arms of the protective services including markings for TTPS (the TT Police Service) and TTR, for the Regiment.
On December 11, hardware owner Chandan Ramjit, 52, was shot dead while delivering cement and other hardware items. Some of the nine spent shells found at the scene bore the TTR markings.
Then on December 22, businessman Nigel Mootoo, 49, and his son Nerkyle D’Angelo Mootoo, 19, were gunned down near their Piarco home by gunmen who drove behind their cars. TTR-marked spent shells were found at the scene of this double murder.
In December, the TT Regiment issued a statement claiming it was unaware of ammunition bearing the TTR markings being used in criminal activities. The Regiment release said it continues to co-operate with police in the investigation into these incidents.
Nerkyle Mootoo who was also shot dead in the incident where regiment-issued ammo was found. –
Based on the result of the investigations, the Regiment said, “Necessary military disciplinary actions” would be taken. To date, the Regiment has not said what military disciplinary action, if any, was taken.
Also in December, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, in an interview with Newsday, said he was aware of regiment-marked spent shells being found at crime scenes and had engaged the Chief of Defence Staff on the matter.
He too said that action was taken to be more restrictive in the management of firearms and ammunition and that he was satisfied with these actions taken.
Hinds said it was possible that any shells found with regiment markings may have been from illegally taken from regiment barracks, before the current preventative measures were implemented.