Almost six months after former Assistant Commissioner Steve Merai made his startling allegations about links between senior police officers and elements of the drug underworld, more damning evidence has apparently emerged to support this claim.
This time the evidence is pointing directly to the involvement of a former top aide to embattled Police Commissioner Henry Greene.
But the revelation is not coming from within the Police Force but from an alleged participant in the scheme, which resulted in the theft of millions of dollars worth in cocaine and cash from a car that was impounded at the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department.
The car was the subject of an investigation into the execution style murder of clothes vendor Raphael Piggott, which occurred in November 2008 at Sixth Street, Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara.
Piggott was gunned down while dropping off a friend, shortly after returning from neighbouring Suriname.
Piggott’s wife who was in the vehicle at the time survived the shooting and related the details of what transpired.
She said that she was sitting in the front passenger seat when a man with a small handgun fired two bullets into the back of Piggott’s head, killing him almost instantly.
No motive was given for the killing but evidence has now emerged that suggested that he was the victim of a drug hit.
It is now clear that Piggott was transporting drugs and a large amount of US currency when he was killed and this is what his killers were apparently after.
However, their plans were thwarted when Piggott, though badly wounded, managed to speed off before crashing his car into a fence several yards away.
New information reaching this newspaper indicated that the killers were certain that the loot was stashed somewhere in the car and they were determined to get it although the vehicle which was impounded by the police was firmly secured in the CID Headquarters compound.
Those associated with the hit men made their first move a few weeks after the care was taken to the CID compound and removed a large quantity of drugs from the vehicle.
They had reportedly paid a sentry at the gate $400,000 to gain access to Piggott’s vehicle.
But they were convinced that more loot was stashed in the car and worked out a scheme to get it.
A known ‘trunker’ was contacted but he got cold feet while being taken to the CID headquarters.
The ‘trunker’ reportedly felt that he was the target of a hit and jumped out of the car that was transporting him to the location and fled into the Guyana Defence Force Headquarters, Camp Ayanganna where he reported that some men had wanted to kill him.
Another known suspect was later recruited to go in and open the car so that the hit men could get to the remaining loot.
This is where the Commissioner’s former top aide came into the picture.
Kaieteur News understands that since the men needed clearance to enter the CID compound, they secured the COP’s former aid’s assistance.
It is alleged that the COP’s assistant paved the way for the men to access the car while he waited in a silver grey Toyota 212 on the nearby Kingston seawall in the wee hours of a December 2008 morning.
The car was opened and a stash of cash and cocaine was removed from a compartment between the base of the car trunk and gasoline tank.
The thieves, along with the police officer then went to a location in Northeast La Penitence where they split up the spoils.
The police officer was one of the officers fingered by Merai in his explosive revelations during a meeting of senior officers in the Commissioner’s Conference Room.
Merai had alleged that two senior officers were integrally linked to the drug underworld.
He pointed to the fact that the officers were driving expensive vehicles which were owned by known elements of the illegal drug trade.
This led to the resignation of one of the officers and a subsequent investigation by Crime Chief Seelall Persaud.
Following the completion of the investigation, a report was sent to Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee who had indicated that former Assistant Commissioner Merai still had a lot of questions to answer.
With the recent revelations, it seems clear that Merai’s allegations were not unfounded.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the Eve Leary drug theft, several persons who were involved were executed, leaving investigators stumped as to the motives.
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