By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – In light of the increase number of reported robberies on the East Bank of Demerara by men dressed in police uniform, the Guyana Police Force has launched an investigation in an effort to get to the bottom of the situation.
Crime Chief, Leslie James during a telephone interview with iNews today [Monday, August 04] expressed concerns over the reported incidents and promised that all is being done to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and find out if indeed its ranks are involved in the crime.
Further, the Crime Chief is advising persons to comply with officers when they are stopped at roadblocks. When asked if officers are at liberty to enforce a road block, he clarified that “it varies” noting that it is not only the Commander of a Division who can authorize road blocks.
James said officers would have to use their judgment and initiative in many instances to apprehend criminals, however, before ranks proceed, they must engage senior officers.
“They are not allowed to wily nilly set up road blocks,” James told iNews.
Only last Saturday a couple was robbed of millions in cash and jewellery in broad daylight by two men dressed in police uniforms in the vicinity of Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara while on their way to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
According to reports, the couple was stopped in their taxi by two men dressed as police and told that they were investigating an accident; one of the men then took the wheel from the taxi driver and the drove to them to a secluded area at Yarrowkabra, off the Soesdyke/Linden highway, parked and held the couple at gun point.
They were relieved of all their belongings and valuable, however, they were left with their travel documents. After being rescued, the couple immediately left the country.
The couple runs the Academy of Excellence Private School at Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara.
Another incident saw Pastor Sewnauth Poonalall of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church robbed and injured by two men as well after returning from the CJIA with some overseas guests.
Father Alex Perez, of the Institute of the Incarnate Word along with another Priest and Brother were also robbed on July 05 on their way from the Timehri airport in the region of Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara by men in police uniforms.
Father Alex, who is the head of the Formation Center in Guyana for priests and brothers in training for the Institute, went to the airport to collect two visitors, a priest from Nicaragua and a Brother from the USA, who are both members of his order.
In the vicinity of Garden of Eden, they were signaled to stop by men wearing police uniforms and waving the lighted traffic batons. When the car stopped however the men drew guns at the occupants, ordered them out and relieved them of money, green card, passports and other valuables.
They were then made to walk deep into the backdam where they were forced to lie on the ground, where their assailants threatened to kill them.
After pleading with them not to do so, their attackers went away and the clergymen made their way back to the main road.