Jan 15, 2020 News
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is in possession of the damning report that highlighted alleged corruption that took place at the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) from 2016 to 2019.
Acting Crime Chief Michael Kingston made this disclosure yesterday, while stating that the file “has been sent back to the DPP.”
The report appears to have reached the DPP last Monday, which is the same day that Kaieteur News reported that Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, had contacted Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, regarding the status of the investigation.
Ramjattan had made this response to Kaieteur News after receiving several questions from this newspaper last weekend.
Kaieteur News had highlighted that almost a year had passed since the Guyana Police Force Audit Department conducted an assessment of SOCU’s financial affairs.
The investigation reportedly revealed shocking levels of corruption from top to bottom of the agency.
But to date, not a single charge has been laid against any of the individuals fingered in the report.
The document which was seen by this newspaper stated that the former Head of the Unit, Sydney James, and several other officials such as Superintendents Robert Tyndall, Trevor Reid, Byran Vieira and Corporal Kevin Haywood from the Guyana Defence Force, abused the agency’s Operational Fund which benefitted from $1.5M on a monthly basis.
With the exception of a payment book, the audit found that there is no record to rely on for a transparent and accountable financial process at SOCU.
In fact, auditors said there is no remittance book, daily cash composition book, and no account and expenditure books.
As it relates to some of the allegations of fraud and corruption, auditors observed that in June 2016, Reid, Tyndall and Vieira collected $600,000.00 each.
But in a scramble to prove that they could account for it, they produced several receipts from January to June to show that they spent $100,000 a month on intelligence gathering. But these receipts were found to be back dated.
It was further observed by the auditors that Haywood, who served as the secretary and not as an investigator, did no operational duties during the time of the assessment, but he still received a whopping $1,378,000.
As for the entity’s former Head, there are allegations against him that he forged the signature of his successor, Superintendent Althea Padmore, so that he could obtain almost $1.8M.
Auditors also learnt that James claimed to have paid $1,719,000 on five occasions to repair motor vehicle PRR 2609.
It was discovered that this was not a police vehicle. In addition, the store he claimed to have made the payments to, A and F Auto repairs cannot be located.
The auditors also reviewed records which allegedly showed that the SOCU official paid $10,300,000 to M. Ali for car rental. All the receipts were vague and had no vehicle registration numbers or the period they were rented for.
Also, the receipts had no letterhead or official stamps.
The auditors were alarmed at the fact that the amount paid to Ali is 43.6% of SOCU’s expenditure for the audit period (2016 to 2019).
Kaieteur News understands that evidence for all the instances of corruption identified by the Audit Department has been handed over to the police for further investigation by the Fraud Squad.
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