By Robert Clarke
Military historian Gaylord Kelshall says the 120 millimetre practice mortars found in Sadiq Baksh’s water tank can be bought at different army surplus and collectors’ stores all over the United States and United Kingdom.
Kelshall said yesterday 120 mm mortars have been in use since World War II, and those found on Wednesday could have been brought into the country at any time over the past 40 years.
Yesterday, Commissioner of Police Hilton Guy told reporters he was informed by senior Defence Force officers the missiles were training devices and could not explode.
On Wednesday, police and army were called to the Palmiste home of San Fernando West MP Sadiq Baksh where two missiles and five kilos of cocaine were discovered in a water tank.
Kelshall, the curator of the Chaguaramas Military History and Aviation Museum, said any collector or museum could have them. “They even make replicas for the drawing room,” he said.
Kelshall said practice ammunition is always painted blue. He said there is no explosive inside the mortars.
He added that prior to the passage of the Firearms Act of 1970, T&T citizens were permitted to collect such ammunition.
“And I think they still are now,” Kelshall said. “A Customs Officer might panic, but they’re harmless.”
The Chaguaramas museum does not have any 120 mm mortars.
The Regiment said yesterday it will dismantle the mortars to check model and serial numbers. The numbers will be forwarded to police and then Interpol to find out when and where they were bought.
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