according to Ramkarran
Current Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum is one of the most successful Crime Chiefs to have served in the Guyana Police Force in recent memory. And he has created a reputation that soars higher every time he comes under public scrutiny.
This is according to Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran, who also had this to say of Blanhum: “The Crime Chief does not court the press, but every time he comes under public scrutiny, his reputation soars. He spoke truth to power, and was quite clear that the story of the complainant Andrif Gillard was ‘inherently incredible.’ The results show that he is one of the most successful Crime Chiefs in recent memory. Even though Guyana still lives in fear of crime, there would be much public concern if there is second-guessing of the work of the Crime Chief.”
Blanhum has told the CoI into the plot to assassinate President Granger that on March 29 he received a call from the Ministry of Public Security informing him of the alleged plot. The caller, a female, told him that Andrif Gillard was at the ministry making the accusations. Blanhum said he immediately made contact with Divisional Commander Clifton Hicken, and because of the nature of the allegations, a decision was taken to have the Major Crimes Unit investigate the matter.
Blanhum said he had received several reports of Gillard frustrating the investigation. He said GPF Legal Adviser Justice Claudette Singh (ret’d) did not recommend any charges to be made in the matter because the evidence was tenuous and there was simply nothing with which to charge anyone.
As his testimony continued, the Crime Chief clashed with Commissioner Slowe when asked whether he had checked to ensure that a record was made of the incident in the ‘A’ Division log. Blanhum said he is not responsible for finding out whether proper records are documented, because he functions at the executive level of the GPF and there are supervisors and other ranks below him who are tasked with those responsibilities.
He also related that he does not find it strange that the men were released less than 24 hours following the commencement of the investigations.
Slowe and Blanhum clashed once more when the Commissioner asked the Crime Chief why the matter was not being treated as treasonous. Blanhum replied that the offence was treated as “incitement to commit murder”, although the allegations had implications for the life of the President. He said he relied on facts, and not feelings.
Based on legal advice, he said he viewed the information obtained as ‘tenuous,’ and not sufficient to base legal charges.
Blanhum expressed satisfaction with the investigation. “The Crime Chief has been rightly praised for his work in the past,” Ramkarran wrote.
He added that Blanhum was only acting on the advice of the Police Legal Adviser, former Justice of Appeal Claudette Singh, who advised that no charges be brought against the accused, Nizam Khan, since the Police have evidence to show that Gillard was making up the story.
“With such conflicting evidence in the Police file, there would have been no hope of a conviction. In fact, based on their investigations, according to the evidence of Corporal Keion Benjamin, the Police concluded that Andrif Gillard should be charged for giving false information to the police,” Ramkarran commented.
Since assuming responsibility as Crime Chief, He has reopened several high profile cases, such as the execution of fashion designer Trevor Rose; the 1993 murder case of Monica Reece, and the robbery/murder of Sheema Mangar.
Mashramani Costume Designer and Events Coordinator Trevor Rose was gunned down on January 26, 2014 while sitting in the back seat of a Toyota 212 motor car on the Eccles Public Road, East Bank Demerara (EBD). He had fathered eight children, and the investigations are progressing according to the Police.
Former Demerara Bank employee Sheema Mangar, 20, was the victim of the brutal robbery sometime after 18:00h on September 10, 2010, as she waited for transportation on North Road. She chased the robber, who jumped into the car that hit her down and dragged her from outside the Bedford Methodist Church, at Camp Street and North Road, to the intersection of Camp and Church Streets. She died hours later at St Joseph Mercy Hospital.
The body of 23-year-old security guard Monica Reece was dumped from a speeding pickup in the vicinity of the Geddes Grant building (now Courts) on Main Street, Georgetown on April 9, 1993 (Good Friday night). At the time of the murder, now Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, was Crime Chief. He subsequently retired as Commissioner of Police. At that time there was a prime suspect, but he mysteriously vanished.
Blanhum and a team of detectives were able to crack the murder case of Babita Sarjou, in May 2016.
Since Blanhum took the post, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has been solving a greater percentage of crime.