Latest update March 22nd, 2023 12:59 AM
Feb 24, 2016 News
The police are trying to locate the report on the March 2011 incident in which political activist Mark Benschop was allegedly assaulted and his vehicle vandalized by former PPP Presidential Information Liaison Kwame McCoy
and his associates.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum gave this assurance earlier in the week while explaining that police are also trying to ascertain whether investigators had sought legal advice on the matter.
“We are trying to locate Mr. Benschop’s file. He (Benschop) contacted me and said that he is interested in re-opening the matter,” Blanhum said. “I am attempting to see if it was ever sent to the DPP; if we ever sent it for legal advice.”
Benschop made the appeal to have the case re-opened last week, after police arrested Mc Coy, Jason Abdulla, and Sean Hinds for the May 2010 assault on columnist Freddie Kissoon. They have since been charged.
Benschop has identified Mc Coy and Abdulla as two of the individuals who assaulted him, smashed his vehicle windows, and made off with items from the vehicle.
That incident occurred outside McCoy’s Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara home, while Benschop was attempting to take photographs of McCoy’s lavish mansion.
Benschop estimated his damage and losses to be at least $1M.
Despite clear evidence of extensive damage to Benschop’s vehicle, McCoy was neither detained nor charged, though he did give a statement to police.
But it was Benschop who was detained at the Brickdam Police Station lockups, after McCoy alleged that Benschop had damaged a window on his property. He was eventually released on $25,000 station bail.
It was on March 5, 2011, that Benschop had visited Diamond New Scheme to take photographs of McCoy’s residence. The Political Activist had stated that he ran an online radio and a website, and was investigating reports that McCoy was building a house worth $100M, with a swimming pool worth $20M– $30M.
He alleged that while he was taking the photographs McCoy drove up and confronted him. According to Benschop, McCoy “charged” into him. He said that two other individuals came from McCoy’s home and tried to take his camera.
According to Benschop, he was forced to flee for safety after the former Presidential Information Liaison and his associates surrounded his vehicle. He eventually returned to discover that the windows of his vehicle were smashed and his computer and other valuables were missing.
A resident who said he witnessed the attack, had recalled seeing Benschop’s pickup stop near to McCoy’s property.
He said that Benschop began “videoing” the house from the roadway.
The eyewitness alleged that shortly after, McCoy drove up in his vehicle, and Benschop turned the camera on McCoy.
According to the man, McCoy then attempted to snatch the camera.
He alleged that McCoy then exited the vehicle and grabbed Benschop, who wrested himself free and fled the scene on foot.
He told reporters that after Benschop left, McCoy picked up a cement block and smashed the pickup windscreen. McCoy allegedly then entered Benschop’s vehicle and removed a bag and other articles, which were allegedly taken into McCoy’s home.
The eyewitness alleged that two men then came out of the premises with a hammer and smashed the other windows of the pickup.
Kaieteur News was present when Benschop repeatedly pleaded with police ranks, who eventually arrived, to search McCoy’s premises for the items that were taken from his vehicle. However, the ranks made no attempt to search McCoy’s home.
But the eyewitness claimed that after the police and media left the scene, individuals emerged from McCoy’s premises with a bag similar to the one taken from Benschop’s vehicle. The bag was then allegedly handed over to the occupants of a black car, who then drove away.
Mc Coy, Abdulla, Hinds and O’Kenie Fraser, have also been questioned about the execution-style killing of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing, who was gunned down in Diamond New Scheme on March 10, 2015.
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