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|Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom in an explosive social media post, which has since been removed, accused Superintendent of Police Mitchell Caesar of engaging in unprofessionalism in the investigation of Ricardo Fagundes, aka ‘Paper shorts.” Fagundes was gunned down on the night of March 21, 2021 shortly after existing Palm Court nightclub, on Main and Middle Streets, Georgetown. Investigation into his death has not been closed.
The 33-year-old Bascom is alleging Caesar was paid GY$30 million dollars to cover-up the murder and has implicated businessman Azruddin Mohamed and security agent Mark Richmond.
The three have since, through attorney-at-law Sohan J Poonai, wrote Bascom demanding apology, retractions of his statements, admittance the statements are untrue and agreed financial compensation within seven-days or face the threat of a GY$50 million lawsuit.
An observer told Village Voice, Superintendent Caesar using the same law firm and making similar demands as the other two should raise eyebrows. “What on the surface appears to be collaboration with the Force or any member so accused in this matter should never have been and should have seen the need for the police officer to seek distance from the other two.”
Bascom said he is standing by his story and is prepared to provide statements under oath, in a court of law, and commission of inquiry. He is being represented by attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes who has since written Ponai advising that his client stands by his statements, is prepared to defend them in a court of law, and that “two of your clients namely Mr. Azruddin Mohamed and Mr. Mark Anthony Richmond were persons of interest during the course of the investigation.”
Hughes also advised: “We are finally instructed to inform you, as we hereby do, that should your clients contemplate the commencement of any of the proceedings contained in your letter, they will be stoutly defended.”
Bascom, in his recording, has accused another senior officer in the Force of victimising him, and also said the information he is revealing makes him, “a dead man walking.’ Hughes wrote President Irfaan Ali seeking “witness protection” for his client pursuant to Section 20 of the Protected Disclosures Act (2018). In the letter the attorney expressed “fear that the life of our client is in grave danger.”
Bascom’s recording has eerie similarities to a 2004 recording of George Bacchus, of Princess Street, Lodge, Georgetown. In that recording Bacchus accused officials in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic government of being involved in phantom squad killings and the role he, Bacchus, played as an informant. He had sought the protection of the Opposition, People’s National Congress Reform, and members of the diplomatic community.
In the wee hours of June 24, 2004 Bacchus was gunned down while sleeping in his bed. Public pressure, led by the Opposition resulted in a Commission of Inquiry aka Gajraj Commission, in reference to then Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, who was accused of playing a leading role in the phantom squad. Gajraj served in the role under the Bharrat Jagdeo government from January 1999-May 2005.
Last week Monday, Bascom was among five persons arrested by the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) after three pounds of cocaine were allegedly found at a residence in Norton Street, Georgetown, which Bascom said he was visiting at the time. The drug is reportedly worth $1.5million. Bascom was detained and later released without being charged. It was this incident that led to the revelations he made on social media. He feels that his arrest was intended to tarnish his reputation.