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Embattled Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom, who has been serving for 12-years in the Guyana Police Force, is of the opinion that had he not gone public about the police handling of the investigation into the killing of Ricardo Fagundes aka Paper Short he would have been a dead man.
Fagundes was killed in a hail of bullets in front of Palm Court nightclub, in Georgetown, on March 21, 2021.
Sharing a press conference this morning with his lawyer, Mr. Nigel Hughes, the detective said from the time he was sent for Mark Richmond, alleged to be involved in the killing, his “life has been going through hell.” His firearm was taken away and all sorts of things have been happening to him but he has been trying to “hold it up.”
He recounted that on May 18, 2021, whilst on his way to court at Leonora, he received a call from Richmond. He said in that call Richmond informed that he should stop looking for him. At the termination of the call, the detective said he contacted Superintendent Mitchell Caesar and per his advice made a statement at the Brickdam Police Station.
A screenshot of the statement was taken and sent to Caesar, he said. Said statement and “other stuff relating to the killing” were later shared with other ranking members in the Force including the Commissioner of Police; Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn; and President Irfaan Ali. Refer to WhatsApp posts above.
Last February, the detective said given what was happening he felt compelled to leave a statement, and instructed that should anything happen to him, it should be released. A video recorded interview was also done with a journalist, reportedly Kaieteur News.
Speaking of his arrest on August 8 by the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) that raided a home for cocaine, in which he was present at the time, Bascom said in his case the Unit failed to follow protocol when someone is arrested such as taking their particulars and having them report to the station. Claiming innocence, he said on reaching home, after his release, he received a call informing him that he was being targeted for pursuing the killing of Fagundes.
Given the failed efforts to get the involvement of the upper echelons in the Force, minister and president, and being told persons wanted to kill him, he said he felt compelled to speak out. He did in a social media post on August 11 which has since been removed.
In the damning recording the sergeant accused senior members of the Force of being corrupt, and implicated Superintendent Caesar in a cover up with city businessman Nazruddin Mohamed and security guard Richmond for the killing of Fagundes. Caesar and Mohamed have denied the allegations and the businessman has since filed a $200 million defamation lawsuit against the sergeant.
The Force, at a press conference, distanced themselves from Bascom’s statements and allegations of a police cover-up, which Crime Chief Wendell Blanham, described as mendacious. According to the Force they have enlisted international support in solving the crime.
A demonstrative Bascom is of the view that nobody, in the Force and Government, cares about him and family based on what they have been going through all these months. Sharing intimate details of being attached in Essequibo Coast and his wife working nights at the hospital, he alluded to an incident where his teenage daughter “ran away” from home due to the absence of adult supervision at the time.
And since going public on Fagundes’ killing, Bascom said emissaries have approached him on behalf of the ‘mastermind.’ What is he being asked to do? He said it is being requested of him to issue a public apology and/or admit to being “vex” when he made the recording and his “whole life would turn around.” What does this mean? “Money,” said the detective.