PRESS STATEMENT BY THE GUYANA POLICE FORCE
Police statement in response to claims made by Attorney Dexter Todd at press conference on September 15, 2020
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) hereby refutes statements made during a press conference on September 15, 2020 by Mr. Dexter Todd, one of the lawyers representing the couple, Mr. Yuri Garcia-Dominguez and Mrs. Ateeka Ishmael, who are facing 72 charges of conspiring with other persons to obtain monies by false pretense, while operating under the name of a company called Accelerated Capital Firm (ACF) Inc.
The GPF notes Mr. Todd’s statement that a bank account was never provided for Mr. Garcia-Dominguez for the transfer of funds to initiate reimbursements to persons who signed contracts with ACF, and hereby categorically rejects this false contention.
The GPF wishes to confirm that, on September 4, 2020, an account was opened at a local bank, Demerara Bank Ltd., under the name Accelerated Capital Firm Inc., with both Mr. Garcia-Dominguez and Mrs. Ishmael listed as signatories.
The Force hereby further confirm that, on September 5, 2020, Mr. Garcia-Dominguez requested that a computer with internet connection be provided to facilitate him for use while in Prison to process the transfer of funds to the account which was opened at Demerara Bank.
In conjunction with Prison Authorities, the Police facilitated the use of a computer, with internet for Mr. Garcia-Dominguez. At the said time, Mr. Glenn Hanoman, the senior and lead attorney among those lawyers representing the couple, was made aware of this arrangement. Mr. Hanoman was also made aware of the local bank account which was opened to facilitate the transfer of funds.
However, when Mr. Garcia-Dominguez was given a computer with internet access in Prison, he claimed that it was not convenient to conduct his transactions in the environment of the Prison. He then requested access to a computer with internet in a more convenient location.
The Police hereby wishes to also confirm that, during the period September 7-11, 2020, the following events took place:
1. In collaboration with Prison authorities, Mr. Garcia-Dominguez was transported to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Police Headquarters in Eve Leary, Georgetown, where he interacted with members of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Units.
2. While at the CID Headquarters, the GPF gave Mr. Garcia-Dominguez access to a computer and internet to conduct the transactions necessary to transfer monies into the account at Demerara Bank.
3. Mr. Garcia-Dominguez claimed he was still unable to conduct the transactions and requested the use of his cellular telephone. His cell phone was being kept in Police custody while he was in Prison.
4. Mr. Garcia-Dominguez was given the use of his cell phone under close Police supervision.
It was at this stage that Mr. Garcia-Dominguez informed the Police that he was instructed by counsel Mr. Todd not to conduct any transactions unless the Police promise to withdraw the current charges he is facing.
5. The Police then informed Mr. Garcia-Dominguez that they cannot take such action and that such decisions can only be made by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Police also note that separate bail applications, one for Mr. Garcia-Dominguez and another for Mrs. Ishmael, were made by counsel representing the couple to the High Court before Justice Sandil Kissoon and Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall, on September 14, 2020, and bail was refused.
Mr. Garcia-Dominguez is a Cuban national, who is now a naturalized Guyanese, while his wife Mrs. Ishmael, is a Guyanese citizen by birth.
Investigations are continuing.