Police are investigating a series of burglaries committed at the Regent Street and Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown headquarters of the Guyana Public Service Union [GPSU]. However, GPSU President, Mr. Patrick Yarde, is convinced that the work of the organisation, which has a mandate to represent public servants, is in fact being targeted.
“Undoubtedly it is being targeted,” Yarde asserted.
The criminal activities, Yarde revealed, first commenced on Monday July 16, 2018. On the day in question, he said, it was the staff of the Accounts Department who discovered that a burglary had been committed.
“A significant amount of cash was stolen. The [stolen] cash was uplifted on Friday [July 13, 2018] from the bank because on Monday, early, we had Executive Council meeting and our Executive Council [meeting] would require people coming from all over Guyana. So when they come we would give them what they spend and refund their travelling and other expenses to go back to…Essequibo, Linden, Corentyne, wherever,” Yarde explained.
Although unwilling to share with the media the exact sum stolen, Yarde yesterday said that it amounts to less than $1 million.
According to the GPSU president, while the initial act had the hallmark of a simple burglary, activities this past weekend at the organisation give rise to the notion that its work is being targeted.
“Yesterday [Sunday], during daylight it would appear…because the security who left at seven, indicated he left the television downstairs and he handed it over to the other security, but when he came back the other security was missing and the television downstairs was missing,” Yarde related.
But there was even more. Yarde told a gathering of media operatives, “this morning we discovered that there has been a series of breaking and entry in the building. The television from my office is missing, as well as documents. So far we have discovered two Sony televisions missing – flat screen, new and their remotes.”
“There was an attempt to get into the safe. The room of the supervisor of the Accounts [Department], attempts were made to get in…The handle is broken and a variety of factors,” said Yarde, who indicated that from all indications, multiple doors were prised open to give the perpetrators access.
Yesterday police ranks were called in again and have since commenced further investigation.
As he spoke of the dilemma facing the GPSU, Yarde said, “Within a short period of time, three or four criminal attempts were made and action taken, because there were missing things on the premises. You will eventually hear more about this,” he assured.
“Even though there were certain developments occurring around us which we have been trying to analyse and which appear, apart from being criminal, to be disruptive of our organisation, we did not anticipate that similar activities would have escalated,” Yarde shared.
It might have been against this background that no effort was made by the organisation to beef up its security.
GPSU has the responsibility to recruit its own security personnel and, according to Yarde, the normal situation is that one security guard is tasked with manning the facility at a time.
Yarde’s disclosure was forthcoming yesterday ahead of a press conference intended to share concerns about the wages and salaries for public servants.
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