Several members of the recently dismantled carjacking ring are scheduled to appear in court soon.
Acting ‘A’ Division Commander Leslie James said that police are wrapping up their investigation, but described it as a long process.
“A lot more work has to be done and we are doing it. This must never happen again,” he added, referring to the massive scale of the ring, which is believed to have stolen hundreds of vehicles.
At least 16 suspects, including women and several taxi drivers, are in custody. Police have been granted approval by the court to detain them further.
Also in custody is a truck owner known as ‘Crime Chief’, who allegedly helped to dismantle and transport the vehicles and spares.
One alleged ring leader, who was dismissed from the Force when he was just a recruit, has already been charged.
But some key players remain at large. Police are still to arrest a Lodge Housing Scheme resident who had stashed a black Mazda Axela, licence number PTT 2794, and 12 certificates of registration.
James said that carjacking victims have been coming forward to see if their vehicles are among those that police have recovered.
However, many of the vehicles have been altered, sometimes dismantled, and their registration numbers removed.
Investigators believe that the gang’s operations stretched from East Coast Demerara to Linden. The members reportedly included ex-policemen, several young taxi drivers, individuals with access to firearm, mechanics and bodywork specialists, women who acquired duplicate vehicle keys, and individuals who assisted in providing forged documents.
Police say that one of the key players in the operation rented out the stolen cars to young taxi drivers. In turn, they paid him $24,000 a week.
Investigators have recovered stolen cars, motorcycles and at least one Bobcat.
According to sources, most of the vehicles were stolen in Georgetown and stashed in areas such as Kuru Kururu, Yarrowkabra and Monument Hill on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.
Some were then dismantled, their registration numbers removed, repainted; some were refitted with parts from other vehicles, and equipped with false number plates.
At least one of the ringleaders, said to be the detained ex-cop, allegedly gave young men in these communities these vehicles to operate, while demanding they bring in $24,000 a week.
When investigators began to track down the vehicles, they even found a Bobcat that had been stripped of its parts. They also found a ‘graveyard’ of vehicle doors, and the shells of several vehicles.
So far, at least two owners have identified their vehicles.
One victim is a University of Guyana lecturer who was robbed last August, of his Toyota Allion in front of his Bel Air home. Another driver, who was carjacked in 2016, has identified his alleged attacker.
According to sources, some of the female accomplices assisted in the stealing of rental cars. The women would reportedly rent the vehicles and then acquire duplicate keys.
After returning the cars, they would give the gang members the keys and the licence numbers and description of the vehicles.
But investigators believe that the gang had assistance from individuals who helped them to procure documents such as bogus certificates of registration.
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