Troubling Findings Around Issuance Of Gun Licence To Patrick Powell, FLA Audit Reveals

Businessman Patrick Powell and Police Inspector Patricia Powell-Wallace
were issued licences for the same gun just days apart in April 2004, an
audit by the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) has found.

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The FLA audit indicated that records obtained from the Jamaica Constabulary Force
(JCF) database showed that the two were issued firearm user licences for the same Walther 9MM pistol bearing the same serial number.

“If these reports are proven accurate, the issuance of two licences for the same firearm is a breach of the Firearms Act,” the authority revealed.

However, the FLA audit noted that Powell-Wallace said she purchased the weapon “as new at either Sasso or AA Dealers and to her
knowledge there are no subsidiary licence holders”
.

“She also stated that she did not grant anyone a permit for her firearm,” the FLA said, while adding that the commanding officer in charge of the Manchester Police at the time denied issuing a licence to the businessman.

The audit was made public late yesterday in response to questions being raised publicly about the status of the firearm issued to Patrick Powell.

He was acquitted last week of murder and shooting with intent arising from
the death of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais in Havendale
St Andrew in July 2011.

The FLA also confirmed testimony given at the trial that Patrick Powell was issued a firearm licence by the St Andrew South Police months earlier in October 2003.

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The agency acknowledged that on August 18, 2011 it received a letter from
the JCF’s Criminal Investigation Branch requesting that the businessman’s
licence be revoked on the grounds that he did not make it available for inspection by police investigators.

Twelve days later, the agency said it’s then chairman, retired Assistant Commissioner Errol Strong requested information and documentation on Powell’s case.

“There is no evidence in board minutes to show that the requested information was provided to the board,” the audit noted.

The agency acknowledged that on August 18, 2011 it received a letter from the JCF’s Criminal Investigation Branch requesting that the businessman’s licence be revoked on the grounds that he did not make it available for inspection by police investigators.

Twelve days later, the agency said it’s then chairman, retired Assistant Commissioner Errol Strong requested information and documentation on Powell’s case.

“There is no evidence in board minutes to show that the requested information was provided to the board,” the audit noted. 

JAMAICA-GLEANER 

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