Friday, March 14, 2008

Police cover-up

The Guyana Police Force is responding to an article published in the Stabroek News of Wednesday March 12, 2008, under the caption “PNCR riled by ‘flimsy’ arrests”.
The article deals with a release made by the PNCR to the media which focuses, among other things, on the arrests by the police of a PNCR scrutineer and her 14-year-old sister at Ithaca, EBB, and PNCR activist Ramrattie Jagdeo of Lusignan, ECD.
The Guyana Police Force wishes to state that the arrests of these persons were done in the course of normal police duties based on reports received and were dealt with in keeping with laid down procedures.
On February 28, 2008, acting on information received that two suspicious looking men carrying duffel bags were seen entering a house at Ithaca , the police conducted a search of the house. The search was carried out in the presence of Jessica Moore called Odessa, 19 years, and her 14-year-old sister during which a sleeping cot of the type used by the military was found. Consequently, Jessica Moore and her sister were arrested and the cot seized.
The sister was released from custody the following morning while Jessica Moore was kept for further questioning during which she stated that the cot was taken to her house by an ex-member of the Guyana Defence Force.
Jessica Moore refused to give a statement and was later sent on cash bail. Investigations into this matter are continuing.
In relation to Ramrattie Jagdeo, on Thursday March 06, 2008, her neighbour reported at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary, that during November, 2007, she had told him that she will bring people from Buxton to deal with them. He further reported that on the very day he had made a report to the Vigilance Police Station for future reference and in the light of the murders at Lusignan was now informing the police at Headquarters.
The police verified that the report was made as stated and as a consequence Ramrattie Jagdeo was arrested on Friday March 07, 2008. She was questioned and gave a statement indicating that on the day in question ranks of a police mobile patrol had stopped by her home. She was later informed by one of the ranks that persons in the neighbourhood had complained about the police ranks being at her home and she had remarked, in the presence of her neighbour, that they do not want the police to come; maybe they wanted the Buxton people to come.
It should be noted that Ramrattie Jagdeo has a good relationship with police ranks on the East Coast of Demerara, particularly those at Vigilance Police Station.
Jagdeo was placed on bail and on Saturday March 08, 2008, a confrontation was held between herself and her neighbour. During that time her cell phone was found to have a photograph of two handguns. She was questioned and on the basis of her explanation her daughter and a niece were detained and questioned at CID Headquarters following which they were all released.
The Guyana Police Force pays no attention to which part of the political divide a suspect belongs. The investigation is intended to be done fairly and the Guyana Police Force goes where the evidence leads.
It considers the statement of the PNCR that “the police seem to have come under the central political direction and control of the ruling political establishment” to be most unfortunate and misleading and calculated to bring the Force into disrepute.
The actions taken against those concerned are connected to the Force’s objective of the preservation of law and order and not linked to any political direction or control.
Ivelaw Whittaker
Public Relations and Press Officer

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