SARU and SOCU have now become a problem to the solution


The State Assets Recovery Unit’s (SARU’s) and the Special Organized Crime Unit’s (SOCU’s) ongoing investigation and arrest of a number of politicians primarily from the Opposition, on the face of it, demonstrates that Guyana has found a new determination and dispensation in combating crime against the state. Of course these arrested persons are innocent, until proven guilty by a court of law. These arrested persons, if found guilty, must face the music, according to that old mantra: if you commit the crime, you must be prepared to do the time.

That said, a deeper probing into the inner operations of SARU and SOCU has raised some unavoidable questions: How independent are these crime fighting units? Who are these individuals? What are their political grounding and associations? How was the top brass chosen to lead these crime units? Do they have the wherewithal to conduct fair investigations? Are they really neutrally-minded in the most ethnically divided country in the Caribbean?

I am sure that some individuals within these crime units are genuine, but I am afraid that I cannot apply the same label to others within these units. They are not saints; they are far from it. They are quick to answer and serve their higher-ups according to their own political bondage. They adhere to a modus operandi that is supported by a silent political purgatory code between themselves and their bosses. This is contrived corruption.

If you do not believe me and think that the above questions are innocuous, I ask that you consider a few individuals who are involved in the above crime units: Tacuma Ogunseye and Eric Phillips, among others egged on by macabre, sensational and twisted writings from Freddie Kissoon, David Hinds and Imran Khan. Make no mistake, their faces may be different but their minds are the same. Taken together, these individuals are guided by ‘the hero in the crowd’ syndrome, outrageous logic, and one-dimensional thinking. They represent the extreme side of Afro-centrism and Afrocology, as well as destructive ideologies, fanning the flames of divineness. They have fallen into a profound political trance, sleeping through the gruesome and grotesque policies of this regime. They are totally up and fixated on the previous administration. Sadly, they are stabled by their own viscosity of denial and their dedicated obedience to this regime’s bell jar of authority. They have found a safe sanctuary. There is no cure for this cryptic and trapped behavior, even with the intervention of sound psychological help.

The President has always maintained that SARU and SOCU are independent units and that his PNC-led government has no interest in interfering with any investigation associated with these crime units. To proponents of his regime, such a consistent declaration is admirable and pleasing to the ear, complementing neutrality and fairness. To opponents, such a declaration is deemed queasy, representing ridiculous scruples and spewing ominous doubts on these self-styled crime units. The President forgets that his entire campaign was based on forensic investigation of the Opposition, which boded well for his campaign, but to now distance himself from these crime units is risible. Hasn’t the President’s subliminal message already been sent out to the security service, including the SARU and SOCU — to take care of business?

Moreover, many within these crime units have a tendency to vote according to, and along, ethnic loyalty. Up front, SARU and SOCU are playing up the President’s expectations.

A similar concern is: why is there a time restriction, going back to the year 2000 or thereabouts, on investigating crimes against the state? I do not see the rational for doing this, other than excluding the period when the PNC wreaked havoc in Guyana. If we go back to at least 1978, these events would require investigation: (1) the PNC rigging of elections; (2) the death of Walter Rodney and other activists; (3) victims of kick-down-the door torture, rape and robbery; (4) selling of forested land to foreign companies through corruption and bribery; (5) kickbacks and bribes received by government ministers; (6) slow fire, more fire that destroyed public and private property; (7) the alleged murder committed by an owner of one tabloid newspaper, and so forth.

Fast forward to the period from 2015 to 2017, and the carnival of corruption continues: increase of ministerial salaries, handing out of Government scholarships, supporters and advisors of this regime issuing death threats on Facebook, misuse of Government funds, lack of transparency in handing out Government contracts, drug scandal, and the list goes on.

Yet, no one has been questioned or arrested. May I ask: are there different strokes for different people in Guyana? Is there a double-standard in how these crime units conduct investigations? May I ask readers if they are familiar with this French expression, carte blanche, meaning when one person or a group is allowed to act in whatever way he or she pleases? There is no limit to power or the practice of checks and balances within the crime units.

Shouldn’t there now be an argument for the establishment of an independent commission to investigate SARU and SOCU, since the solution to the problem has become a problem to the solution? ([email protected]).