Kaieteur News – Just before there was a change in government in August, the police discovered a strange container deep in the bush near Haruni off the Linden highway. On reaching the container, the police removed the overgrowth, but the container had no markings on it.
A search of the structure revealed dozens of crates with Russian wordings. The police sent for pry bars to wrench open the crates but the station in Mackenzie had none. After hours of waiting for the bars, words spread that a squad of policemen was in the bushes at Haruni. A crowd gathered. People thought they found a body. The consensus of the crowd was that the police were visiting a murder scene. The police asked the viewers to leave. The police managed to secure four crow bars from a private business place.
While opening the crates, the villagers returned and were again ordered to leave but this time, the police were distracted by what they found so the crowd got closer. There were millions of pens and erasers. All the ranks were nonplussed. What a container was doing off the Linden highway with pens and erasers?
An immediate dispatch was sent to Eve Leary. A high-level team travelled up led by the officer who had ordered that Assistant Commissioner Edgar Thomas be removed from the GECOM Command centre in the Ashmin building during the rigging there. Just to refresh your memory about that incident.
A GECOM staff member had ordered GECOM commissioner, Sase Gunraj, to leave the building and he objected on the grounds that he had the authority to be there and that the staff member was junior to him and cannot give him an order. Police operations at the centre was led by Thomas who cancelled out the edict to remove Gunraj telling the lady that she was out of place to treat a GECOM commissioner like that. Thomas was immediately removed and assigned to street duty to monitor the traffic outside the Ashmin building.
It is interesting to note that the Thomas incident will be featured in two autobiographies that are being written, one by GECOM Chair, Claudette Singh, and the other by the Commissioner of Police at the time (since retired) Leslie James.
A source told me that in the James memoir, the Guyanese public will finally know why at a press conference, James said that apart from alleged bribery, the Charrandass incident also involved national security. Since Charrandass returned to Guyana, I spoke with him several times and asked him what James meant by the national security remark.
Here is what happened. After Charrandass left for Canada, and with the bribery story swirling around, the police raided what they thought was Charrandass’ home in Canje, Berbice. In the building, they found $10 million Russian rubles and fake passports belonging to several countries. One passport had the name C. Mango and another with the name. K. Lolo. It wasn’t Charrandass’ home. The building was occupied by a group of Haitians who were illegal in Guyana.
That morning they had gone fishing and when they returned, the taxi driver told them what happened, so they never returned to the building. The rubles were stored in the New Amsterdam station and were accidently thrown in the thrash by the cleaning lady who thought it was discarded monopoly game money. I don’t know if this will be in James’ memoir but that is one of the explanations for James exclaiming that the Charrandass case involved national security.
The pens and erasers were taken to the AFC head office. At an AFC press conference, the AFC leadership displayed a sample of the items to prove that this was the evidence that a Russian group came to Guyana in February to rig the election for the PPP and was deported by the man who the Dem Boys Seh column refers to as “Rumjattan.” A journalist from San Marino who was visiting Guyana at the time and who attended the presser asked how the pens and erasers would have been used.
Here is what the AFC told the press conference. At the bottom of one of the crates was found a document in Russian with the wording, “Operation Rigging.” It detailed how on voting day, the Russians would sabotage GPL. During the blackout, some paid agent provocateurs would run into each polling station exclaiming, “Fire, fire!” As the staff got up to run outside, the agent provocateurs would use a spray to alter their vision. The Russians would then take all the ballots from the boxes, erase most of the votes for APNU+AFC and mark the X for the PPP. Believe it or leave it!
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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