PNC official named as intellectual author in fire at GECOM Linden Office

0

GECOM’s Linden Office on fire in July 2020 [File photo]
Police are pursuing a Peoples National Congress (PNC) official in Linden, Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) who is said to be the intellectual author behind the burning of the GECOM building last year.

This is according to reliable sources close to the investigation.

Members of the Major Crimes Unit have already arrested two young men, who have since confessed that they were paid $150,000 to torch the GECOM Linden office over the non-swearing of the then presidential candidate of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance Force Change, David Granger as president of Guyana.

The two men Teon February called ‘Nut’, a 23-year-old of Canvas City, Wismar Linden and 21-year-old Marlon Hunter ‘Bushy’ of Silver Town Wismar were arrested on Monday last for questioning in relation to setting fire to the building located at Burnham Drive, Wismar, Linden which occurred on July 14, 2020.

‘Nut’ and ‘Bushy’

Upon their arrest, ‘Nut’ was interrogated on Wednesday and admitted being involved in the heinous crime.

In a statement to the Police, he claimed that he was contacted on the night of July 13, 2020 by Bryon Kendall called “Murgie” who told him that he wanted him to burn down the GECOM building. As such, he contacted his cousin, ‘Bushy’ and informed him of the job.

In his confession, he told detectives that he and his cousin were picked up at about 22:00h in a silver Note motorcar, which took them to Burnham Drive where the mastermind showed them the building. At that time, ‘Murgie’ informed them that he wanted the building burnt the same night and offered them $150,000 as reward.

The mastermind reportedly gave them a yellow five-gallon bottle of gas which he had in the trunk of his car. He then left the scene. The young man further related they hid the gas in a clump of bushes a short distance from the GECOM building and went home.

However, at about midnight on July 14, 2020, the two-cousin returned to the location, collected the bottle of gas, entered the compound from a side gate and gained access to the building from the back door.

The suspect further confessed that they went into a storeroom in the upper flat of the building where he poured the gas and set the room on fire which led to an explosion resulting in them getting burns to their feet. The burn marks are still visible when they were arrested on Monday, a police source confirmed.

Nevertheless, the two men escaped, went home where they met three female cousins and related what had transpired. One of the young women reportedly attended to their burns.

The suspect told police that on the same evening, the mastermind went to their home and handed over 75,000 which he gave to his cousin and the following day, he was given the other $75,000.

He claimed that after the incident they saw “Murgie” several times but they had no discussion on the incident. Later, the mastermind reportedly told him that he wanted the building burnt because GECOM was taking too long to swear in Granger as president.

Police have since confirmed that following the confession by ‘Nut’, they interrogated ‘Bushy’ during which he supported the narrative told by his cousin.

Upon receipt of the information, the Police have arrested the mastermind on Thursday.

It was reported that moments after the building was set on fire, one of the security guards, who was on duty at the time, said that she heard a loud bang at about 01:55h.

This, she noted, prompted her to check around the building. She said that it was then that she again heard another loud explosion. The woman recalled that she then observed fire emanating from within the building along with the smell of gasoline.

The guard had told investigators that two males were observed running from the western side of the building. She added that the men ran through the nearby First Alley Street, Wismar, where they made good their escape.

The building, which was owned by Lindener Fitzgerald London, was being rented by GECOM for the past four years at the time of the inferno.