A number of gold miners have been questioned by police as part of an ongoing probe into alleged bribe-taking following the December 21 no-confidence motion.
Former government parliamentarian, Charrandass Persaud, fled Guyana to Canada, a country of which he is a citizen, after siding with the Opposition on the motion.
His one vote caused the coalition government to fall, triggering early elections according to the Constitution.
While elections are in limbo because the matter is being challenged in the courts, Persaud was under investigation by the police after it came to light that he was in talks with players of the gold industry to purchase a large quality of gold…almost US$1M.
The talks…evidenced by Whatsapp messages between Persaud and another man…occurred shortly before the shock December 21 vote, which still has the country reeling.
At least one gold dealer was reportedly asked to provide a statement.
Yesterday, Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, refused to deal with specifics of the investigation but insisted that he is not being politically directed as was suggested by a number of media houses aligned to the political Opposition.
“I would not go into figures. I don’t want to be restricted to that. I would say a number of them (have been questioned),” he told reporters in response to questions.
He insisted that Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, did not give him directions to investigate the case.
“Something was brought to my attention by the minister and based on that an investigation ensued.”
James made it clear that his office is independent.
“I don’t receive instructions…political instructions. I must make that very clear.”
Advisor to the People’s Progressive Party, Peter Ramsaroop, who escorted Persaud from the Parliament Building on the night of December 21 and hours later to the Ogle Airport, later said that the questioning was politically motivated.
Yesterday, the police chief said that overseas persons are helping the probe.
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