by Linda Straker
As part of “Operation Yuletide,” the Police in Grenada have begun raiding stores confiscating military wear and other merchandise that are blacklisted from public importation and public sales.
Sylvan McIntyre, Head of the Community Relations of the Police Force, said that as part of the Operations. “All things illegal will be cracked down on. We are targeting anything that is illegal… it’s not just the camouflage clothing, but also firecrackers and other illegal explosives such as flare guns,” he said.
McIntyre explained that all importers, retailers, and the general public should be aware that it is an offence to import, sell or deal in military uniforms without permission from the relevant authorities. “A fisherman, for example, needs to get the required permission from the Police to operate and discharge a flare gun, even if it’s part of his safety kit. And, that authority is the Royal Grenada Police Force — permission must be sought to use them and anyone who has them in their position must first obtain permission,” he said.
According to Chapter 194A, Section 3, subsection (2) of the Military Uniform (Prohibition) Act No. 9 of the Revised Laws of Grenada 2000, “no person shall import, trade, sell or deal in military uniforms or decorations except with the approval of the Minister.”
The Act also forbids the wearing of military uniforms and states “no person other than an authorised person shall wear any military uniform or any clothing having the appearance of or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of any such uniforms.”
On Tuesday, the Eastern Division of the Force raided a number of stores in the town of Grenville and seized all clothing that was reflective of military wear. “Sometimes, these things escape the customs officer at the port of entry and they are put up for sale. Whatever we get on the streets, we will seize them and we will also search the stores,” said Raymond Matthew, who is in charge of the Eastern Division. His raiding team also comprises of customs officers.
It’s an offence to bring into Grenada any military uniform or any of the patterned materials commonly used for making military uniforms. The penalty for a guilty conviction is EC$10,000.
“Military uniforms” are defined by the Act as any combat camouflage or other distinctive dress generally worn by members of the Royal Grenada Police Force or any other police or military force, and includes wearing any apparel designed to resemble such dress or any part thereof, but does not include footwear.
McIntyre said that it is a criminal offence (Section 9, subsection 3 (c) of the Explosives Act Chapter 96 of Volume 6 of the 2010 Continuous Revised Laws of Grenada) for any person to use, deal, sell or purchase explosives, the likes of which include firecrackers, scratch bombs, and other devices that have similar explosive effect, without the appropriate license.
The police will be stepping up its campaign against those who are in possession of and are offering for sale these explosives. Persons are being warned that there will be zero tolerance for those contravening the law. Anyone found guilty will be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $5,000.