-two senior officers exposed
By Dale Andrews
Damning evidence of links between senior police officers and elements in the local illegal drug circuit surfaced last week during a high level administrative meeting of the Force.
Allegations of the close association of a Senior Superintendent and an Assistant Superintendent of Police with members of drug cartels were leveled by an Assistant Commissioner, leading to the temporary resignation of one of the officers involved.
This newspaper was reliably informed that Assistant Commissioner Steve Merai who himself is no stranger to controversy had made the revelations at a meeting chaired by Commissioner Henry Greene and attended by Divisional Commanders and other Heads of Departments.
Those in attendance were in awe at what transpired with one senior officer telling this newspaper that it was the first time that a confrontation like that had taken place at a force admin meeting.
The exchange brought to the fore, the alleged infiltration of the Guyana police force by drug dealers; allegations that are not new.
In fact, the Commissioner of Police himself has been tainted by allegations that he benefitted from the proceeds of the drug trade, for which his American visa was revoked.
With regards to Assistant Commissioner Merai, a recording had surfaced with what was purported to be his voice making demands in what was suspected to be an extortion matter.
An investigation was launched but the other person involved declined to give evidence in the matter.
Kaieteur News understands that it all started when the Commissioner was questioned about his knowledge of the alleged connection between a top ranking officer of the Tactical Services Unit, his Personal Assistant, and persons of questionable character.
The Commissioner was reportedly stunned by the query which was made by Assistant Commissioner Merai and responded that he was unaware of such connections.
This newspaper learnt that Merai then proceeded to outline evidence of his allegations, pointing to the vehicles that the officers in question were driving.
In the case of the Personal Assistant to the Commissioner, Merai disclosed that the officer was driving a $30M Toyota Fortuna, which he claimed belonged to a female who has links to the underworld.
He even pointed out the vehicle which was parked in the Police Headquarters compound, Eve Leary.
The officer in question was summoned and he reportedly admitted his involvement with the woman.
This reportedly caught the Commissioner off guard and he immediately ordered the officer’s transfer to an interior location.
This newspaper understands that the officer immediately tendered his resignation only to rescind it a few days later and has now been posted to Lethem.
The question that arose at the meeting was, how was the Commissioner not aware of the relationship between his personal assistant and a person who is well known in the drug underworld, especially since the officer was seen driving the person’s vehicle into the police compound for several months.
This newspaper understands that Commissioner Greene had seen the couple together on several occasions.
A senior government official, when contacted, indicated that he had been hearing such reports for a while and expressed satisfaction that the force had finally taken some action in the matter.
However, a senior police official who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons told this newspaper that sending the officer to a location like Lethem is like a reward.
“This man was the commissioner’s PAC by day and another person by night,” one officer told this newspaper.
The situation is similar to recent revelations in Trinidad and Tobago where it was alleged that the driver of a senior police officer in that country had facilitated the movement of drugs for drug traffickers.
With regards to the other senior officer at Eve Leary, Merai disclosed that the officer was in possession of a BMW that was reportedly the property of another drug dealer.
Kaieteur News understands that the Commissioner again demanded the evidence from Merai who immediately referred to the vehicle which was also parked in the police headquarters compound at the time.
Ironically, the officer in question was at the said meeting where the revelations were being made and he was immediately questioned about the ownership of the luxury sports car.
He reportedly claimed that he was unaware that the owner was linked to the drug trade.
Immediately the Commissioner ordered that both the BMW and the Toyota Fortuna be removed from the compound.
But strangely, it was reported that the Commissioner had spoken to the officer before about the said vehicle and he persisted in taking it into the compound.
Allegations of devious characters entering Police Headquarters to play football every Sunday on the TSU tarmac, under the protection of the officer, were also leveled.
He was however just given a slap on the wrists which amounted to a warning, a move that did not go down well with a number of officers.
“He should have been out of uniform pending an investigation,” one of his colleagues told Kaieteur News.
The police officer claimed that since the TSU official is actually in charge of about 400 ranks, as well as most of the force’s arms and ammunition, he is responsible for the security of the police headquarters, which has obviously been compromised.
Merai’s revelations reportedly irked the commissioner, who warned him that he was making reckless statements.
But the assistant commissioner responded by providing evidence to support his allegations and even threatened to take the matter to higher authorities.
According to a source, Merai was asked why he chose to reveal the information that he had in his possession at that forum when he could have easily reported it to the crime chief or the head of the police office of professional responsibility.
It was then that the question of trust arose.
“Merai is in Berbice and these people are seeing these vehicles in the compound every day; it should have been looked at before,” one senior officer who was at the meeting told this newspaper.
Kaieteur News also understands that ranks on patrol duty are instructed that they are not to stop the vehicles in question whenever they encounter them on the road regardless of who is driving them.
This newspaper repeatedly tried to contact the Commissioner of Police but was unsuccessful.
Several calls were made to his cell phone all to no avail.
Officer Merai when contacted dismissed this newspaper saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The revelations in this article are bound to ruffle some feathers, especially since the Commissioner had expressed concern over leakages of confidential discussions to the media.
A few months ago Commissioner Greene banned his Commanders and other senior officers from communicating with the media, claiming that the Force was compelled to restructure the way it was disseminating information to the public.
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