Cunupia, Trinidad: A Trinidad Masjid requested Police assistance on guns found on its premises. Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen administrators Imam Shiraz and Maulana Saeed in a joint statement said: “Sometime around 8:30 a.m. [ed: on Thursday 7th June 2018] 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.”
A party of police, including Central Division Task Force and CID officers, went to the mosque and retrieved the bags. An investigating officer extended kudos to the workers and the mosque’s officials for informing them of the find. “This could have gone otherwise and by them not hiding this by itself proves a lot,” the officer said. A team of five investigating officers conducted interviews with the Imam and recorded several statements from staff and workers.
In its statement, the Masjid administrators said: “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 Masjid wishes to categorically state that the illegal arms and ammunition do not belong to the organization and we do not condone any illegal activity on our compound. In fact we condemn the actions of whoever planted the weapons unknowing to us, in the masjid’s compound.
The Mosque is an open compound and is trafficked by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We wish to state that we do not have control over who enters our compound to conduct religious and business activities. We wish to reiterate that we do not condone any illegal activities on out compound or in the wider society in general.
We are very saddened that anyone would choose a holy place of Allah to hide illegal guns and ammunition, especially in this month of Ramadhan. We condemn the action as unIslamic.”