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The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) in a statement has condemned the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for having its members collect money from Mohamed’s Enterprise. In a stinging rebuke CGID said the act amounts to bribery and condoned by the current leadership in the Force.
“Force regulations only permit members of the GPF to collect gifts through the Commissioner of Police. Effectively the Commissioner authorised and sent officers and ranks of the GPF with Police vehicles and in Police uniform to collect a bribe.”
CGID said the organisation has been advised by members of the Force that in recent years the unlawful practice has become a norm but this year it was the “most pronounced.”
Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Paul Slowe in one of “Speaking Out” programmes made known taking gifts from members of the public was eschewed under his leadership as Divisional Commandant. He said the act is unhealthy and could compromise the integrity of the police men and women and the Force.
Evident from the photo, acting Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken does not share the same view.
CGID is however contending “Hicken should be held accountable for this callous and disgraceful act” and accused him of “single-handedly caus(ing) the complete destruction of the credibility, public trust and integrity of the GPF.”
The GPF is now a laughing stock in Guyana, the region and the world, thanks to this failed leadership, said the organisation.
The organisation pointed out that the photograph of Police Officers lining up in uniform at the front door at Mohamed’s Enterprise inevitably conveys to the public, rightly or wrongly, an impression that the Guyana Police Force is beholden to the Mohamed’s, and that ranks are in the pockets of this company and its owners.
“This is an abomination and an assault on the rule of law in Guyana and the integrity of every member of the GPF. One can only imagine the payout to the top brass of the Force.
CGID has called on the Police Commissioner to disclose to the public what he and others in the leadership of the GPF received as a payout from Mohamed’s Enterprise as well.
Mohamed’s Enterprise itself should have known better than to have Police officers lining up outside its doors to uplift monetary gift, as if that is the payroll office of the GPF, the organisation explained.
Whilst stating there is nothing wrong with wanting to extend good will to Police officers at Christmas, CGID said it should not have been done in this manner.
“Moreover, the Guyana Police Force is currently engulfed in a devastating scandal about an alleged murder cover up involving persons associated with the same company, which they have attempted to put to rest with flimsy, mendacious statements; some of which have been contradicted by facts and evidence. “Police officers themselves have disputed these fallacious statements and malicious contentions by the GPF. Hence, that matter is without question unresolved.”
The incident the organisation referred to is the death of Ricardo ‘Paper Shorts’ Fagundes on March 21, 2021 in a hail of bullets whilst leaving the Palm Court nightclub, Main Street, Georgetown. The police are presently embroiled in a scandal and have been accused by fellow detective Sergeant Dion Bascom of colluding with Azruddin Mohamed in an alleged cover up of the crime. The police and Mohamed have denied the allegations and filed defamation charges against Bascom who maintained he is standing by his comments.
Going further, CGID questioned “which Police officer who got a hefty Christmas bribe from Mohamed’s will arrest any principal of that company if they commit an unlawful act?”
The organisation stated “every time the PPP comes to power in Guyana this type of unsavoury, lawless situation emerges, where the GPF becomes beholden, and appears to be bought out by PPP business interests. Bharrat Jagdeo’s government was answerable to a drug kingpin and alleged murderous gang leader, who headed the phantom death squad.
“With billions of oil wealth in hand, Bharrat Jagdeo and Irfaan Ali are steering Guyana down this exact road again. Corruption and racism are the PPP’s Kryptonite and will lead to their self-destruction again.”
The incident is a serious matter and “there should be an investigation into who authorised uniformed Police officers to go on a line at a private company, bag in hand, to collect money” the organisation declared. The call was also made for the resignation of the Police Commissioner over what amounts to “disaster and lack of ethics and good judgment.”