Three former Police ranks were on Monday sentenced to prison and fined for accepting a six-million-dollar bribe back in September 2015.
When the trial concluded on Monday at the Whim Magistrate’s Court on the Corentyne, Magistrate Charlyn Artiga found the three ranks guilty, and sentenced each to one year’s imprisonment and fined each $25,000.
Corporal Shawn McPhoy of 174 Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt, Constable Ray Drepaul Saul of Eversham, Corentyne, and Constable Trevon McKenzie of Princeton, Corriverton, Corentyne were charged jointly for the offence, which was committed between September 10 and 11, 2015.
Assistant Superintendent Terrence Browne, 48, who was the officer-in-charge of the Whim Police Station at the time the incident was committed, had also been charged with the offence, but was tried separately.
In September 2016, Magistrate Artiga ruled that the prosecution had failed to convince the court that the Assistant Superintendent is the person who had received the plastic bag, and that anyone had seen him. He was set free.
The three former ranks had collected a $6 million bribe and had allegedly relinquished some of the cash to Browne.
Female Constable Stacy Welch had testified during the trial that she had received a share of the money when it was parted. She further stated that McPhoy had placed a portion of the money into a plastic bag and had said it was for the boss.
On September 10, 2015, a few Police ranks were performing patrol duties along the Corentyne Corridor when they stopped a minibus which was loaded with cocaine and cash.
The ranks had received information that a route 63 ‘A’ minibus would usually be transporting drugs, guns and cash. They were provided with the vehicle number and the travel schedule for the minibus.
While in the vicinity of Springlands, East Berbice/Corentyne, they observed the vehicle and decided to stop it to conduct a search, during which they discovered that the vehicle was indeed transporting a very large quantity of cocaine and cash at the time.
It is alleged that the ranks on patrol, with the most senior one at the time being a corporal, entered into negotiations with the occupants of the vehicle, which led to the occupants of the vehicle handing over $6 million in cash to the ranks.
The ranks then allowed the vehicle to continue its journey, and even reportedly provided some amount of escort for the vehicle before returning to a Police Station.
The ranks reportedly informed their most senior officer of the illegal transaction, after which he allegedly took a sum of the money.
The trio were represented by Attorneys at law Chandra Sohan, Murseline Bacchus and Horatio Edmonson.
Following a notice of appeal issued to the Magistrate on Monday, she placed the convicted cops on $50,000 bail each.