As allegations of corruption against several junior ranks along with a senior officer sitting at the hierarchy of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) continue to surface, Berbice stakeholders and Regional officials have expressed deep concern over what is taking place.
During an interview with Kaieteur News, Mohamed Raffik, President of the Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, praised whistle-blowing ranks for being brave enough to come forward to the media and share what has been deemed “alarming revelations” of corruption which are currently plaguing the Guyana Police Force.
“We are saying at this Chamber that these ranks who were brave enough to come forward to the press, must be thoroughly disgusted at what has been taking place and they have been moved to come out. Now if the police hierarchy doesn’t come out and support them and if the Ministry of Public Security doesn’t support them then we are looking at a situation where all kinds of things can go on in the force,” Raffik said.
He also called on the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Presidency to have an independent investigation conducted into the matter. He stressed that the probe cannot and should not be left in the hands of the Police Force.
Raffik added that it would be difficult for the police to investigate the matter since a senior member of the force sitting at the hierarchy, was fingered in a number of corrupt activities himself by the informing ranks. He called on President David Granger to be actively involved in the matter since “we have seen the President get involved with matters that are not as important as this and a lot has happened.”
Further to this, the Chamber Head pointed out that the President has mentioned many times that, he is not a man who condones corruption and as such “he should not spare anyone who is found culpable.” The Chamber President stressed the fact that the helm of the force has remained quiet throughout what is being made public “speaks volumes.”
Senior Vice President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Alexander, also joined with Raffik in calling for an independent probe. He made it resoundingly clear that whatever is being published as it relates to cops being involved in corrupt practices should be investigated but not by the police force if senior cops are involved.
“I trust that the ranks sitting at the top level will treat this matter seriously and act professionally. I trust that the minister who is responsible for this and the President also have a pivotal role to play because I understand the issue does not affect Berbice alone but Guyana in general, in terms of crime fighting and so I look forward to the days ahead to see this story unfold,” Alexander said.
Meanwhile Region Six Chairman, David Armogan, who has also been keeping track of what has been reported in this publication, mentioned that the issue has raised eyebrows throughout the country. He said what has been taking place between the criminals and the police involves “big money” and as such, calls for an investigation to be launched immediately.
“These cops are easily tempted to collude with these criminals and while the argument may be their low salary, I believe that if that was the case, then the entire force would be involved but that is not the case. These ranks who are involved are interested in the fast cash. You see, one of the main problems is that many of these rogue policemen are protected by the big police, so whenever things happen at the bottom, they call their bosses at the top and all is well again,” the Chairman posited.
According to Armogan, if the police who are employed to protect and serve are conspiring with criminals then “we are in real trouble.” He called on the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan; the Commander, Paul Langevine; and the Commissioner, Leslie James to do what it takes to remove the rogue cops from the force. Since there was a senior officer fingered, he like his colleagues said that an independent probe would do justice to those ranks who have come forward to speak out.
Additionally, PPP/C Councillor, Zamal Hussain who also weighed in on the matter, said that the issues raised over the past few days is a cause for concern and wholeheartedly supported the call for an audit.
Also making the call for an independent probe was APNU/AFC Councillor, Gobin Harbhajan. He explained that while he has been graced with many complaints by citizens about matters similar to what is being revealed, he commended the ranks who came forward to speak out.
It was just recently that several ranks came forward and spoke out against activities being executed by fellow colleagues of the Guyana Police Force. They mentioned that their colleagues are in cahoots with the criminals who wreaked havoc in the ancient county and has a senior officer stationed at Headquarters, Georgetown involved.
They also confirmed that the numbers of four ranks, including a constable, Lance Corporal and a Corporal were found in the call records and contact list of now dead criminal Kelvin Shivgobin who was shot and killed in Black Bush Polder a few weeks ago. They have made calls for an independent investigation because they believe that if the certain senior officer is involved in the investigation, it would be swept under the carpet. The Guyana Police Force is yet to issue a statement in response to the allegations made by their own members of the force.
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