…cops implicated, stolen documents, wigs, police uniforms recovered
Police appear to be on the verge of smashing a gang that has been targeting airport travelers and taxi drivers—and some of the key players appear to be their own colleagues.
The development reportedly came on Sunday when police ranks detained a 26-year-old interdicted policeman after finding documents belonging to some robbery victims, wigs and police uniforms at his North Ruimveldt home.
A former policeman, a female rank from the Immigration Department and about three civilians are also said to be in custody.
Kaieteur News understands that a taxi driver who was relieved of his car at gunpoint last week has identified one of the suspects. Investigators, who have contacted other victims, were still conducting identification parades up to late last night.
A senior police official confirmed that some of the recovered documents belonged to civilians who were victims of airport robberies. “From what we have, we appear to be heading in that direction,” the official said.
The gang ringleaders appear to be the 26-year-old interdicted rank, at whose home investigators found the items, and his 30-year-old dismissed colleague.
The two were charged in January, 2013, for allegedly trying to solicit money from a robbery victim in return for the stolen item.
It was alleged that on December 28, 2012, the ranks had in their possession a laptop computer, a hard drive and a computer bag valued at $371,000 knowing these to be stolen.
It was alleged on Christmas Eve, 2012, two men robbed a taxi-driver and his three passengers at gunpoint of two laptop computers, a quantity of jewelry, three cell phones and a sum of cash. The perpetrators then escaped on a motor cycle.
Police investigators later received information that the two accused constables had approached the owner of one of the computers and had received a sum of money from him for the return of the computer.
However, the computers had not been recovered by the police investigators during the course of the investigations.
A sting operation was set up and the two ranks were allegedly found with the stolen laptop computer in a house at North Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
In recent years, police have had to deal with a spate of attacks on travelers to and from the Cheddi jagan International Airport.
Last August, Latchmin Gopaul, a teacher, her husband, Lekraj Gopaul, and a taxi driver were abducted at gunpoint in broad daylight by two men in police uniforms while heading to the airport for a planned vacation.
The victims were then driven to a desolate spot at Yarrowkabra, off the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, where they were bound and relieved of millions of dollars in local and foreign currency, jewellery and other valuables.
Prior to that incident, Pastor Sewnauth Poonalall of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church was gun-butted and robbed shortly after returning from the airport with some overseas guests.
There also appeared to be an upsurge in carjackings. On Wednesday, Nazir Khan, 57, was dragged out of his Toyota Carina at gunpoint in Mandela Avenue by a passenger and an accomplice. His vehicle is still to be recovered.
Last week, taxi driver Fharis Mohamed, was forced to flee from his vehicle after a gun-toting carjacker attacked him in Eleventh Avenue, Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara He, too is still to recover his vehicle.
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