By Steve Thomas
Observer Nevis Editor
(Basseterre, St. Kitts) – There were a lot more than toys in those packages. In fact, the boxes held deadly cargo.
Verlyn Zakers of Newton Ground Village has been charged with possession of firearms and possession of ammunition under the Firearms Act and importation of firearms and ammunition without a permit under the Customs Act.
According to the Royal St. Kitts-Nevis Police, Ms. Zakers was stopped at the Robert Llewllyn Bradshaw Airport on June 12, where she had gone to claim three packages shipped by Federal Express from Miami, Florida.
“She went to the airport to collect them,” Police Inspector Cromwell Henry said. “They came from the U.S.”
The packages contained five semi-automatic pistols and a 9mm carbine. In addition, police found over 400 rounds of ammunition of assorted calibers and seeds that are suspected to be marijuana seeds.
The firearms, ammunition and seeds were contained in packages containing children’s bicycles and an inflatable swimming pool.
“We have regular checks and operations at the airport using a K-9 unit that can find weapons and drugs,” Inspector Henry said. “We do it almost daily.”
Ms. Zakers had no history of involvement with gangs, Inspector Henry said.
“We can’t speculate” on what the weapons were intended for, Inspector Henry said.
An attorney for Federal Express said he could not comment on the incident.
The weapons involved were one .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, four 9mm semi-automatic handguns and a carbine.
The carbine, which is a short-barreled rifle, is manufactured by the Hi-Point Corporation of the U.S. According to the firm’s Web site, the weapon is a 995-B Carbine, which comes with a standard 10-shot magazine, weighs seven pounds and has an overall length of 31.5 inches. It has a lifetime, no-questions asked warranty. It has a suggested retail price of US$220.