Aug 13, 2022 News
By Shervin Belgrave
Kaieteur News – A Senior Detective in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) who was earlier this year removed from the controversial Fagundes “Paper Shorts” Murder case, and transferred to another location, is now claiming that his recent arrest in a drug bust at Norton Street by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) was a set-up.
The Police Sergeant, Dion Bascom, was among five persons arrested on Monday after $1.5M worth of cocaine was found at the Norton Street location. According to CANU, Bascom was detained because he was present when the bust was made.
Kaieteur News was told that he was not charged but released.
Since the incident, Bascom came forward to state categorically that the arrest was a move to tarnish his reputation as an outstanding officer. He believes that it could be linked to an ongoing investigation into the brutal murder of Fagundes better known as “Paper Shorts”. Fagundes, a close friend of Roger Khan was riddled with more than 20 bullets on March 21, 2021 moments after he stepped out of Palm Court on Main Street, Georgetown. CCTV cameras had captured two shooters getting into a white, tinted Toyota Fielder motorcar, making good their escape.
Bascom was one of the detectives working on the case and following his arrest on Monday, he has publicly accused his superiors at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of taking bribes to duck key evidence in the matter.
The sergeant made the allegations in a Facebook live that he later deleted and also in subsequent post. The Guyana Police Force in response stated that its Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has been instructed to conduct an immediate probe into Bascom’s allegations.
The alleged fallout between Bascom and the force reportedly began after he made attempts to arrest one of the prime suspects in the case. The events subsequently escalated in February this year after Kaieteur News reported of what had transpired while he was trying to make the arrest.
Based on credible information Kaieteur News had received, the suspect identified as “Shop man”, a chief security officer employed with a prominent business establishment in central Georgetown, had threatened the lives of arresting ranks after they tried to arrest him on three occasions.
Sources had related that each time ranks got a lead and proceeded to make the arrest, the suspect was one step ahead of them and they began suspecting that someone with inside knowledge of the force’s operation had been tipping him off about their movements.
Their suspicions reportedly grew after “Shop Man” phoned one of them and ordered that they stop looking and asking people for him. The suspect reportedly warned that if they persist then he will have to take certain actions.
The ranks lodged a report against the suspect for threatening them but when they realized that no one was willing to investigate their claims, they became fearful. They did not follow-up their attempts to arrest the suspect again.
Kaieteur News was reliably informed back then that the threatening language report had reached the desk of three senior officials heading the Major Crime Unit (MCU) based at CID headquarters at Eve Leary. It however seemed as if they too had opted to ignore the reports.
Not long after this was highlighted in the media, Bascom was removed from the investigation and transferred to another policing district.
Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum had confirmed the transfer of the sergeant. He stated however that it had nothing to do with the Fagundes matter. The Crime Chief said there was a promotion in the force and Bascom was part of that grouping.
Sources, however, had contested this and related that the force suspected that Bascom was leaking information to the media that could jeopardize the Fagundes case. He was called in for questioning and had reportedly denied leaking any information. This however did not stop him from being transferred.
The case would go cold for a few more months until Bascom was arrested by CANU and his mug shot posted in a public report on Monday. An outraged Bascom decided to go public and alleged that the force is victimizing him for accusing a senior officer of taking bribe to cover-up the Fagundes’ murder.
In a Facebook live, Bascom gave details of how they were able to track the suspect and find out who he was in contact with at the time of Fagundes’ murder. He even gave his version of how police chose not to act on the information he had found.
He claimed after they were unable to arrest the suspect at his work place (Mohammed’s Enterprise), they headed back to the spot where the murder occurred and conducted further investigation. With the use of technology they were able to establish that the man they were looking for had indeed been there at the time Fagundes was gunned down.
The detectives also found out, based on phone records that he had been in contact with a prominent businessman in the city.
Bascom said that they were excited about making a major breakthrough in the case, but when they related their information to a senior officer he did not act on it. Bascom said he later learnt that the officer had received a $30M bribe to destroy the evidence and cover-up the case.
In light of this recent development, Fagundes’ relatives are calling on the force to act on the information and leads it has on the case and arrest the suspects involved in his brutal murder.
Relatives had disclosed during the initial stages of the investigation that the detectives had told them, “more than one individual was involved in the killing” and one of them was described as someone who would be seen “driving around the city in a fancy car every day and taking photos with politicians.”
Since then, however, they had received no further updates and had lashed out at the force for its prolonged silence on the case.
Police have so far publicly declared that they were able to trace the car the killers used from North Road Georgetown to Palm Court, prior to the shooting.
The Force had also confirmed that the car was driven to a location on the Soesdyke- Linden Highway where it was doused with a flammable substance and burnt. The remains are in the custody of investigating ranks at the force’s Eve Leary headquarters.
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