…contrary to the statement issued earlier by the Force that he did
Hours after the Guyana Police Force had confirmed and issued a statement that one of its ranks who had been fingered in the attempt to smuggle an AK-47 rifle out of Police Headquarters had escaped from custody last weekend, Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum, clarified that the Corporal had not escape.
Blanhum told the Guyana Times on Thursday evening that Corporal 18404 Shevon Marks, who had been confined at the Brickdam Police Station, had left the premises after submitting a medical certificate for 14 days’ sick leave.
The Crime Chief said the document, obtained after the corporal had reportedly been examined by a medical doctor, was presented to him by the attorney for Marks, and that in due course he would respond “appropriately” to the corporal’s lawyer.
In a statement issued earlier in the day, the Police Force had said that the subordinate officer had disappeared since Sunday night, but the matter was officially reported to Police Headquarters only at about 15:00h on Wednesday. It noted that the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) had been directed to launch an investigation into the incident, and assured that this particular case was not being treated differently from other cases wherein members of the Force are alleged to have committed grave offences.
Marks is said to be the brother of the tattoo artiste who has been charged and remanded to prison for the murder of domestic worker Leelawattie Mohamed, who was gunned down in her Tain, Corentyne home last month. The corporal was reportedly under the radar of several senior officers; his driving in and out of the TSU compound in various heavily tinted motor cars had given rise to suspicions that his character was shady.
The Police now say they are continuing their investigations into the smuggling of the weapon, and it is expected that several others will be implicated.
The subordinate officer has been among five police ranks, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ASP) attached to the Tactical Services Unit (TSU), who were taken into custody last week after a civilian was caught attempting to leave the Police compound with an AK-47 rifle Wednesday last.
These ranks had been placed under close arrest, and after the 72 hours of their detention had expired, they were put on open arrest, while the civilian remains in police custody as investigations continue. Investigators have since approached the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice in regard to the way forward.
The Crime Chief further told this newspaper on Thursday that the DPP has returned the file. However, he did not know what advice was given, since he is yet to review the file at the time.
Reports are that a civilian vehicle was allowed into the compound last Tuesday evening without being searched. The vehicle reportedly stayed throughout the evening, and when it was leaving the compound the following morning, the vehicle was searched and the weapon was discovered. After the discovery of the weapon, the mobile phone belonging to the driver was checked and proved that several calls had been made to the ASP. Based on that information, the senior police rank was questioned and placed under close arrest. The very ASP, this newspaper was told, has been fingered in several unprofessional and shady situations. In fact, he was interdicted from duty several years ago following the murder of Dweive Kant Ramdass in the Essequibo River. Ramdass was reportedly robbed of millions.
The ASP, who was a cadet officer at that time, and other ranks were accused of stealing the undisclosed sum of money, which they had confiscated. During the trial, however, no evidence was given against the Police ranks; thus they were reinstated into the Guyana Police Force.