Drug link allegations…..Rohee in ‘serious discussions’ with Top Cop
PULL QUOTE: “What we see now is that they are actually in print…allegations made by a member of the Force itself against colleagues in the force, and I think that this adds a greater degree of seriousness to the matter.”
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has disclosed that he has had serious discussions with Police Commissioner Henry Greene over allegations of police links to local drug traffickers.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Rohee said that he is very concerned about the allegations which were reported in the Sunday edition of this newspaper and he has indicated that he will be having further discussions with the Top Cop on the matter.
“I think that in any part of the world where allegations of a similar nature are raised, the political person that is responsible would be concerned. It is not something that we take lightly,” Rohee emphasised to media representatives.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Steve Merai, during an administrative meeting of the Force, reportedly made damning allegations that implicated some of his colleagues.
He alleged that the Personal Assistant to the Commissioner, as well as a senior operative of the Tactical Services Unit, had direct links with characters, who are alleged to be involved in the illicit drug trade.
He pointed out that both of the officers were in possession of vehicles that belonged to drug dealers, which he indicated were being parked in the Police Headquarters Compound at Eve Leary on a daily basis.
Both of the vehicles were ordered removed from the compound by Commissioner Greene, and it is expected that an investigation would be launched soon.
The Home Affairs Minister stated that he had heard the allegations before, but at the time they were based on anecdotal comments.
“What we see now is that they are actually in print… allegations made by a member of the force itself against colleagues in the force, and I think that this adds a greater degree of seriousness to the matter,” Rohee stressed.
He also pointed to the fact that Sunday’s newspaper report was able to state with a tremendous degree of specificity that the officers were involved with drug lords. He said that he would be happy if the allegations that the persons involved are indeed drug lords can be proven.
Meanwhile, this newspaper understands that the head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud was instructed to launch an investigation into further allegations that ranks from the TSU are benefitting from illegal activities.
This newspaper understands that the instructions were given during the same administrative meeting, last week, following reports that some of the ranks were owners of expensive vehicles.
This newspaper understands that some of the ranks have stashed their vehicles while some are parking theirs in secluded areas some distance from their place of work.
“The issue is how they acquired them?” a senior official of the force said with a quizzical expression.
The Crime Chief himself when contacted yesterday said that the force investigates all allegations of crime once it is brought to their attention.
According to Persaud, there are several investigations that are presently ongoing, and quite a few of them are against ranks of the Guyana Police Force. He however refused to go into specifics, except to state that a few ranks were before the court for allegedly taking money from a drug dealer.
However, that matter ended with the execution-style killing of the drug dealer.
“We have charged people (members of the force) on allegations made and we have been investigating others, some of which turn out to be untrue,” the crime chief told this newspaper yesterday.
Following the publication of the drug connection allegations, the Guyana Police Force issued a public warning to its officers who it said were breaching the organisation’s standing order by leaking information to the media.
It also accused this newspaper of being biased when it comes to reporting certain aspects within the Guyana Police Force.
“Kaieteur News however chooses to selectively publicise those bits of information which are not relevant to any of those officers/ranks who leak information so often to the press…Once again the selective bias of Kaieteur News against certain Officers who it cannot buy out is noted,” a police press release had stated.