APNU/AFC agent Carol Joseph arrested as probe intensifies
Attempts to rig elections
APNU/AFC Agent Carol Joseph was on Tuesday arrested as the Guyana Police Force (GPF) continues its investigation into electoral fraud committed following the March 2, 2020 National and Regional Elections.
When contacted, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed the arrest, adding that she was questioned by investigators with respect to electoral fraud. However, he also said that she was subsequently released on substantial bail and instructed to return to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) today.
Guyana Times understands that Police ranks visited Joseph at her home and requested that she accompany them to the CID Headquarters for questioning, to which she complied.
Joseph was seen yelling vociferously at other stakeholders present at one of the work stations during the tabulation of ballots at the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo’s office at Ashmins building, High Street, Georgetown.
She was heard telling another stakeholder: “Who the hell is you? He has to listen to me. I am a stakeholder here!”
This caused Presidential Candidate of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) Lenox Shuman to express concerns about an apparent attempt by the APNU/AFC coalition to derail the tabulation process by the use of their agents.
Joseph was already embroiled in controversy during the vote tabulation for Region Four when she allegedly provoked Executive member of A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Jonathan Yearwood.
On the day in question, Joseph had spent the afternoon haranguing and harassing other representatives from other political parties – including some GECOM staff.
However, several persons including Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield and Region Four RO Clairmont Mingo were slapped with criminal private charges.
Lowenfield is already facing three private criminal charges for conspiracy to commit fraud and breach of trust in public office that were filed by private citizens Desmond Morian and Josh Kanhai, who is a member of The New Movement (TNM) party. He was arraigned back in July and placed on $450,000 bail as the mattes continue at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Meanwhile, Lowenfield was again arrested a few days ago and is being questioned in relation to his role in attempting to rig the elections in favour of the APNU/AFC. He was also released on substantial bail but has to report to CID Headquarters on a daily basis.
Police have already indicated that based on investigations, the detectives have sufficient evidence to institute additional criminal charges against Lowenfield. On Monday, the Crime Chief explained that once investigations are complete, the police will send the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack with their recommendations.
The Guyana Police Force initiated the probe following “formal reports” that alleged “criminal conduct” by Lowenfield and embattled RO Clairmont Mingo, as well as others, in relation to the elections and the events that followed thereafter.
The CEO is accused of attempting to undermine the will of the people by repeatedly refusing to submit the verified results from the National Recount to Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Retired Justice Claudette Singh, for a final declaration. The police have since arrested and charged several GECOM staff including RO Mingo as part of its probe.
On the other hand, the recount exercise had shown that the PPP/C won the elections with 233,336 votes, that is, over 15,000 more than the 217,920 votes obtained by the coalition.
But Lowenfield had repeatedly refused to submit his final elections report with those figures despite being so directed by the GECOM Chair on several occasions. He eventually complied, paving the way for the declaration and subsequent swearing-in of the new Government.
The National Recount conducted unearthed that RO Mingo had heavily inflated the figures in Region Four – Guyana’s largest voting district – in favour of the APNU/AFC.