Police probing extortion of Brazilian businessman, wife by 2 CANU ranks

Two officers, who are attached to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and stationed in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), were detained on Sunday over kidnapping and extortion allegations against them by a Brazilian businessman.
Based on reports, the businessman and his wife were in Lethem back in March when they were stopped by the two CANU agents, who along with other officers, held them up and collected over $3 million from them.
When contacted on Sunday, Director of CANU, James Singh, would only confirm that the police are investigating the matter.
The incident took place on March 23, 2024 when the businessman and his wife came into Guyana via Lethem, where they would usually go to shop. The couple was returning to Brazil when they were intercepted by two vehicles containing CANU and Customs officers.
The Brazilian nationals were escorted to CANU Headquarters in Lethem, where the CANU officers, after not finding anything illegal, reportedly demanded money from them. The businessman had transferred 85,000 Reis, approximately G$3.4 million, from his account before he was released.
Upon returning to his home country, the victim filed a report with the Federal Police of Brazil.
On Sunday, the businessman along with senior police ranks in Regional Division #9 went to the CANU Headquarters, where they met two agents. The victim identified the two CANU officers as the alleged perpetrators and they were subsequently arrested.
During a confrontation held at the Lethem Police Station, the two CANU agents denied the allegations. Later Sunday, they were eventually released as the police moved to obtain legal advice on the way forward.
There were five officers, who had held the couple up nearly two months ago and this newspaper understands that the other three were Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs officers – including a senior official whom investigators have been looking for. (G8)