Just days after a quantity of narcotics went missing from the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at Eve Leary, Georgetown, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has indicated that investigators are honing in
on possible suspects.
This announcement was made during the commissioning of a Property Room at the said location on Thursday which seeks to prevent the very incident that has now put the Guyana Police Force under public scrutiny.
Reports are that two Mondays ago, Police intercepted 31-year-old Travis Mendonca, who was attempting to travel to the United States. The ranks stated that during a search of his suitcase, 1828 grams of cocaine was unearthed. As a result, Mendonca was taken into custody and later stood trial at which time he was sentenced to three years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to a trafficking in narcotics charge.
As such, the close to two kilograms of cocaine was tendered as evidence at Police Narcotics Branch, housed at the CID Headquarters, given that investigations were ongoing so as to determine who else may have been involved in attempting to smuggle the illegal substance out of Guyana. However, the narcotics went missing on Tuesday evening.
While addressing the matter, the Public Security Minister dubbed this most recent breach in security as yet another attempt to paint the Guyana Police Force in a negative light. He noted that officials of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) have launched inquiries into a number of suspects, hinting that they were drawn from a pool of ranks infamous for negligence and malpractices.
On that note, he stated, “It is another little disaster that is going to throw negative light on the Police Force and we are investigating it. We have some elements in the Guyana Police Force that are, if not totally reckless, they are so negligent that you have to put blame on some of them.”
Moreover, Ramjattan lamented on the missing narcotics case as yet another incident where the Force’s security systems have been penetrated, thereby highlighting the need for the newly installed Property Room.
“We do have some systems in place, but I supposed it’s been violated too often and that is why we want a Property Room where there will be proper record keeping as to who had it and it would be videoed. So no Policeman can come and say, ‘well I de leff it on the desk and somebody mussy tek am out,’ and that kind of thing,” Ramjattan outlined.
Meanwhile, even though Minister Ramjattan reiterated that officials have placed several Police Officers under the microscope, he remained tight lipped regarding the identity of those individuals on the ground that investigations are still in its early stages.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that, “I have my suspicions. I don’t want to make them public. I don’t want to come to conclusions yet because it might be premature. I don’t know how many people were questioned but I think a number of them have been questioned.”
Adding to that, Acting Top Cop David Ramnarine, in breaking the news to the public, did say that several members of the Police Narcotics Branch were placed under close arrest in relations to this matter. (Ashraf Dabie)