Police fully capable of probing NICIL issues if required – Brumell
The Guyana Police Force, if required, is fully capable of pursuing and effectively conducting an investigation
into any alleged financial malfeasance or fraud as it relates to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
This was the assertion of Commissioner of Police (ag) Leroy Brumell, who expressed confidence in the investigative capability within the Force to deal with ‘white collar’ crime, but emphasised that to date “there has not been a single report at any police station against (Winston) Brassington or NICIL”.
Confronted with a hypothetical situation of rapid gunshots being fired within earshot of the Police headquarters, and the police’s reaction, Brumell conceded that “Yes, in a situation such as that, the police would automatically respond”.
He emphasised that the supposed situation was clearly a far cry from allegations of ‘white collar’ crime involving NICIL or any such agency, hence the need for a formal report.
The acting commissioner said that he was cognizant of the numerous newspaper reports on the allegations of corruption and financial laws being breached, but said this in itself is not enough to prompt an investigation by the Force.
He stressed that at least there must be a formal report, and should this requirement be fulfilled, then he is confident that a full-fledged investigation will be launched.
Asked whether the Police Force would require the assistance of the Finance Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Ministry of Finance, Brumell said that he could not rule out limited assistance, but reiterated his confidence in the investigative skills of his ranks.
The FIU was established under Guyana’s Money Laundering Legislation as an agency responsible for “requesting, receiving, analysing and dissemination of suspicious transaction reports and other information relating to money laundering, terrorist financing or proceeds of crime.”
NICIL’s Executive Director Winston Brassington has been coming under increasing scrutiny in recent months and weeks over his role as the Executive Director of NICIL, and more recently, a transaction involving his brother and a substantial purchase of shares in Hand in Hand Trust Corporation.
Brassington has insisted that he has breached none of the country’s laws, and recently pronounced, “I have done my job with honesty and integrity and can stand up to whatever scrutiny is brought to bear.”
Brassington said that he and the entity he runs have always been open to scrutiny by, inter alia, parliamentary bodies.