Chaguanas Chamber: Give business community gun licences

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dindial’s Auto Supplies in Montrose, Chaguanas remains closed after the murder owner Darryl Dindial during a robbery on Thursday night. – File photo/Lincoln Holder

THE Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce has called on the Government to restart issuing firearm user’s licences (FUL) to the business community.

Its president Richie Sookhai said several communities in central Trinidad have recently seen an upsurge of criminal activity, especially among the business community in areas such as Montrose, Enterprise, Longdenville, and Endeavour.

The latest incident happened on Thursday night, when Chaguanas businessman Darryl Dindial owner of Dindial’s Auto Supplies in Montrose, Chaguanas was shot and killed during a robbery at his businessplace.

Sookhai said a lack of funding to the police has stifled their operations to protect and serve, thereby leaving the country vulnerable to criminals.

“Due to a lack of funding the central police are not properly equipped to carry out their duties. We ask the Government to restart the issuing process of FULs so business owners can be equipped to protect themselves.

“This would certainly contribute towards allaying some of the fears of the business community, who not only put themselves at risk daily to provide for their staff and family but also contribute to the community and country as a whole.”

Sookhai expressed heartfelt condolences to the family of Dindial, and said the chamber was deeply disturbed and saddened at the senseless murder of such a renowned businessman in the community.

He challenged the Government to act on its responsibility to protect the lives and livelihood of the people of Chaguanas and the country.

It was unfortunate, Sookhai added, that the Ministry of National Security was given one of the largest budget allocations, but funds seemed to be grossly mismanaged.

“Proper fund management and performance measurement is needed so that maximum effectiveness is attained with the monies available.

“We also call on the Government to allocate necessary funds and provide training to manage these resources to the police service to aid in crime-fighting activities.”

Sookhai pointed out that the chamber worked closely with the police to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of the wider Chaguanas area.

To this end, he said, the chamber contributed to the repair of two police vehicles to assist in surveillance, patrols and citizen protection.

He also called citizens to put community first, honour the right to life and liberty of all people and preserve peace especially at a time when the country was faced with socio-economic challenges.

“The spike in crime would certainly impact future investment in the central area. Global inflationary pressure, which has increased the cost of living and doing business will certainly lead to an upswing in criminal activity and therefore it is of utmost importance that the leaders within the security sector be effective in making the best decisions to protect the borough and the country by extension.”