Oct 05, 2022 News
By Shervin Belgrave
Kaieteur News – A security guard on Thursday filed a $50M lawsuit against police detective Sergeant Dion Bascom for naming him as a suspect in the March 2021 execution of Ricardo Fagundes known ‘Paper Shorts’.
In court documents seen by this publication, Mark Richmond is being represented by attorney-at-law Rajendra Poonai. He is suing the detective for defamatory remarks he made about him on Facebook on August 11, 12, 13 and 19.
Richmond in the documents claimed that he has been working as a security checker at Mohamed Enterprise for seven years and is a devout Muslim without any criminal record.
He is suing Bascom on the grounds that the public statements he made on Facebook are untrue, dangerous, malicious, unfair, unsubstantiated, unfounded and baseless and thereby have tarnished his reputation.
Bascom’s refusal to remove the post and admit that they are lies, according to the court document, has caused psychological trauma, emotional distress and public humiliation.
The lawsuit also demands a mandatory injunction for Bascom to permanently delete the defamatory posts he made and to be barred from reproducing, sharing, repeating, posting or disseminating either by video, audio, print or other electronic means, similar malicious statements about Richmond.
But Bascom in a yet another Facebook post on Monday made it clear that millions in dollars of lawsuits or multiple cybercrime charges will not change his position that there is evidence implicating Richmond in the killing of Paper Shorts, moments after he stepped out of a popular nightspot on Main Street, Georgetown.
The detective also maintained that his superiors have covered up the case after collecting a bribe and were planning to kill him for his intimate knowledge of the investigations.
Bascom in August had made Facebook lives and posts accusing Richmond, a security guard with Mohamed’s Enterprise, of being involved in Paper Shorts’ murder. Paper Shorts was killed in a hail of bullets by two men who emerged from the back seat of a heavily tinted white Toyota Fielder Wagon.
He even implicated popular businessman Azruddin Mohamed in the crime and accused one of his bosses at the Criminal Investigation (CID) Headquarters, Mitchell Caesar, of conspiring with them to cover up the matter.
Mohamed, Richmond, and Caesar have all denied the allegations made against them and threatened to sue Bascom for millions because he defamed their character.
So far, Mohamed have followed-up with his threat and on August 30 last, the businessman sued Bascom for in excess of $200M for damages to his character.
Richmond is now the second person to sue Bascom.
Insisting that another multimillion dollar lawsuit or more charges can’t stop him from speaking the truth, Bascom in his post stated, “They sue me for 100 million how are they gonna get it? The murder suspect (Mark Richmond) who called me is now suing me for 50 million. How is he gonna get it? If they think this will break me, think again. I’m speaking the truth and in the court, the truth will come out. I have no fear of no one and as I said before, I rather die telling the truth than dead with the truth inside of me. #I stand by everything I said.”
The detective revealed too that Guyana Police Force (GPF) has even served him with a interdiction notice following the cybercrime charges it has recently laid against him. Bascom, however, is standing his ground and made it clear in the Facebook post that “throwing” him out of the Force will not stop him from exposing that senior officers of the Force are involved in an alleged cover-up.
Bascom’s public outburst came after he was thrown in the lock-ups by Customs-Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) ranks following a drug bust at Norton Street, Georgetown.
He named Richmond as a prime suspect in the case and claimed that technology placed him at the crime scene on the night Paper Shorts was murdered. He alleged too that the technology showed that Richmond was in contact with Mohamed during and after the crime.
Bascom also said that when he attempted to arrest Richmond, he was threatened.
Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum said that GPF was aware of the alleged threats made by Richmond against Bascom but did nothing protect him because it is not his duty or the duty of ranks at CID to investigate such matters.
He said that Bascom was instructed to make a report at the Brickdam Police Station and whether or not the detective followed up with the matter, he was not aware.
As it relates to the allegations of a cover-up due to the involvement of a popular businessman, the Force called Bascom a liar and has since charged him for multiple cybercrime offences.
Bascom through his attorney, Nigel Hughes had requested protection for his client via a letter to President Mohamed Irfaan Ali.
To date, Ali has not granted the request but had invited the Regional Security System (RSS) headquartered in Barbados to review the Paper Shorts’ murder case and investigate Bascom’s allegations.
RSS after wrapping up its probe reported that police have followed all procedures in the investigation of the Paper Shorts’ murder case and stated that Bascom’s claim of an alleged cover is baseless and totally false.
Bascom and his attorney have said that the RSS investigation is flawed because no one made attempts to interview the detective.
Paper Shorts’ family has also said that they were not satisfied with the RSS report because no details about Paper Shorts’ murder were stated. They believe that there are still parts of the reports missing.
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