“Dumb and ridiculous.”
That’s the way NTA political leader Gary Griffith has described the Customs Act, which prohibits the use of all camouflage-patterned items by citizens.
His comment comes on the heels of the arrest of a 32-year-old Moruga woman over the weekend for wearing camouflage pants.
It is alleged that the woman also resisted arrest, used obscene language, behaved in a disorderly manner, and assaulted a police officer.
Griffith said the law serves no useful purpose.
“Laws are drafted and designed for a purpose. It is to ensure that there is order in a country, and, at times, it is critical to ensure that people can be safer. You don’t put a law just to inconvenience citizens,” he said.
The former police commissioner and national security minister said from his research, T&T is the only country in the world where any type of camouflage in any form and pattern is illegal.
He pointed out there was also a camouflage law under the Defence Act which states that wearing camouflage resembling the Defence Force uniform or articles is illegal.
“That is to ensure that persons cannot imitate members of the protective services to be involved in criminal activities, so there can be some degree of understanding of the value of that.
“What I understood, however, is that when I was the Minister of National Security, through Customs, there was a misinterpretation of that law and they extended that law to be as ridiculous as it can be. If a child has an orange camouflage toy, if a lady has a blue camouflage short pants that is illegal,” he said.
Griffith added: “That does nothing to make people safer. It is a very dumb law, and we are bombarded on a regular basis with tourists coming in with camouflage and then they are either going to be embarrassed and our country is also embarrassed.”
Griffith maintains it is one of the dumbest laws we ever had in Trinidad and Tobago where any single pattern form of camouflage is illegal.
Under the Customs Act and Defence Force Act, an offender could face a fine or imprisonment.