Five guns and a large quantity of ammunition were found in the roof of the Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen, Munroe Road, Cunupia, on Thursday morning.
Right away, the leaders of the Masjid say they are not responsible for having the guns on the compound. They say people come in and do business and pray and maybe it was those persons who hid high powered weapons in the roof.
Police said at about 8.30 am on Thursday, a team of workers who are currently conducting maintenance works in the ladies section of the mosque, found several black garbage bags stashed away in the ceiling.
The workers retrieved the bag and found the weapons and ammunition. The workers went to mosque’s office and reported their findings to Maulana Saeed, who contacted Imam Shiraz Ali.
Ali then contacted officials at the Ministry of National Security and the police.
A party of police went to the mosque and retrieved the bags, which contained two shotguns, two pistols and an assault rifle together with an undisclosed amount of assorted ammunition.
Later in the day, Saeed and Ali signed the following release on behalf of the Masjid:
“On behalf of the Masjid ul Mattaqeen we wish to provide the details of what transpired earlier today.
Sometime around 8:30 a.m. workmen were conducting general maintenance on the Masjid’s compound located at Munroe Road, Cunupia, when several black garbage bags were discovered hidden in the ceiling of an upstairs prayer area of the Mosque. On further inspection the bags were found to contain five firearms – two pistols, one rifle, two shotguns – and several rounds of assorted ammunition.
The Chaguanas Police were immediately summoned to the mosque and they took possession of the said guns and ammunition. We as the administrators of the Mosque requested the police officers who attended to conduct a thorough search of the entire compound to ensure that no other guns, ammunition or other illegal items were secreted on the premises.
We are advised by the Police that no additional illegal items were found. On behalf of the members of the Masjid we wish to thank the officers who attended promptly from the Chaguanas Police Station for their professionalism and courtesies extended to us during this Holy Month of Ramadhan.
We wish to inform our membership and the wider national public that the illegal firearms and ammunition found inside the Masjid were secreted there by persons unknown and that this organization does not condone any form of illegal activity. Those persons who planted these illegal items in our place of worship did so without the knowledge of the spiritual and administrative leaders of the Masjid and our membership.
We will assist and co-operate with the Police in every way possible to discover the identities of those person or persons who are responsible for bringing illegal guns and ammunition into the Masjid.
The doors of the Masjid are open to all members of the public whether Muslims or otherwise. We have no formal security arrangements in place as this is a place of worship where our members engage in fellowship, pray and social activities.
The Masjid is a place where families, friends and neighbours congregate particularly in the holy month of Ramadhan and we are truly stunned at today’s find. This Masjid roundly condemns any form of illegal activity and more so such illegal activity that involves the use of arms and ammunition against our citizens in these increasing dangerous times.”
The big arms discovery