Opposition sees sinister plot in move against police service commission 

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Chairman of the PSC, Paul Slowe

….force issues wanted bulletin for chairman 

Chairman of the Police Service Commission and Former Asst. Commissioner Paul Slowe has been accused of fraud and sexual assault, a statement emanating from Guyana Police Force’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said. But the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), in expressing outrage, said the attack on the former Assistant Commissioners and women and men in uniform is another attempt at politicizing the Police Force.

According to the CCU, the investigation into the crimes allegedly committed by Slowe forms part of a larger investigation into financial irregularities within the Guyana Police Force.

“Mr. Slowe is required to present himself for questioning at the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and at the Gender Based Unit of the Guyana Police Force for Conspiracy to Defraud and Sexual Assault respectively,” a section of the statement read.

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It is alleged that Slowe along with five former retired senior officers, all of whom were taken into custody on Wednesday; one current Assistant Commissioner; one former female Finance Officer and a male officer attached to the Police Finance Office, conspired with each other to defraud the Guyana Police Force of in excess of $10M.

“The money was allegedly paid to revise the entire Guyana Police Force’s Standing Orders but Mr. Slowe and the others have so far failed to present to the Guyana Police Force with a completed revised Standing. The Guyana Police Force has a Standing Order which comprises of 104 Standing Orders. The entire 104 Standing Orders of the Guyana Police Force was completely revised by Civilian Police Analysts that work at the Strategic Planning Unit of the Guyana Police Force between July 2018 and March 2019. However, Slowe and others were paid to do the same revision when it was already done,” the CCU contended.

It contended that about eight of these officers, including Slowe conspired with each other to give themselves a job that clearly should have gone to the Tender Board by Law because of the quantity.

“In addition, Mr. Slowe  and Retired Assistant Commissioner Clinton Conway– being  members of the Police Service Commission, which overlooks the Police Force as the disciplinary body – cannot take contracts and enter into agreements that they are getting substantial monetary rewards for. They reportedly draw this money knowing that this work was completed,” the CCU said.

Further, it is alleged that during the months of March and April 2019, a female Assistant Superintendent, who worked along with Slowe, was allegedly sexually assaulted by Slowe three times. “These alleged sexual assaults were reported to an Assistant Commissioner who failed to take proper action. He allegedly told the female Assistant Superintendent ‘…is I have to promote you,’” CCU reported, noting that the investigations are still continuing.

It said since the commencement of these investigations, Slowe has left the jurisdiction. However, Conway, and four other retired police officers were taken into custody on Wednesday. Conway and a number of the other retired officers are expected to appear in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

POLITICIZING OF THE FORCE 
But the APNU+AFC, on Wednesday evening, expressed outraged at the continuation and intensification of what it described as a campaign of “vulgar political persecution of professionals in Guyana.”
“The latest episode being the arrest of former senior police officers and members of the Police Service Commission (PSC) – Assistant Commissioners (Rtd) Clifton Conway and Ivelaw Whittaker and retired senior officer George Fraser,” APNU+AFC said in a statement.

It said the arrests of the senior officers, and the added plan to arrest, Slowe, a distinguished and internationally respected Assistant Commissioner (Rtd), are frightening and chilling developments which signal, beyond debate, that Guyana has sunken into a state of naked dictatorship.

“The charges are spurious, vexatious and without merit or basis. They are trumped up and designed to intimidate these former senior police officers who have been executing their work as Chairman and members of the PSC with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity,” the APNU+AFC Coalition said.

It added: “The PPP is clearly now attempting to tarnish their impeccable reputations and dismantle the professionally constituted PSC to install their cronies, who will in turn, do their bidding and promote pliant and favoured officers to the hierarchy of the Police Force. The PPP is hell bent on completely eroding all vestiges of professionalism within the Guyana Police Force and completely render it into a political weapon to target and persecute political opponents and the citizens of Guyana who oppose their authoritarianism.”

The coalition said the PPP/C, in keeping with its “modus operandi” is to destroy constitutional and other institutions and to install their own cronies who will execute their political directives and bidding.
“The PSC serves as a critical guardrail of democracy in Guyana and the independence of the police force from political interference. The PPP is now attempting to demolish this guardrail and render democracy in Guyana comatose,” the coalition said.

APNU+AFC said the arrests come at a time when the Chief Justice Roxane George is preparing to rule on matters before her regarding the PSC on Monday, May 24th.

“It is evident that the regime has come to the realisation that the ruling is likely to uphold the professional and lawful conduct of the PSC and as such they are seeking to take pre-emptive and alternative action to otherwise discredit the PSC and its members,” APNU+AFC contended.

APNU+AFC Coalition said it will continue to stand in solidarity with the professional members of the PSC, and called on all regional and international law enforcement bodies, governments, human rights organizations and law-abiding and right thinking citizens to condemn attacks on the men in uniform.

“The rule of law and the tenets of democracy must be restored and zealously upheld and maintained in Guyana,” APNU+AFC emphasized.



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