Top Cop “unaware” of SOCU’s surveillance activity – in controversial NICIL probe

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Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud has reportedly admitted that he was unaware of the circumstances surrounding the probe by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) into the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). This includes the identity of the persons under Police surveillance and who gave the order for the Army to get involved.
Persaud made this startling disclosure, as reported in the Guyana Times today, despite the fact that the Police Commissioner is the only statutory authority to initiate the call for assistance from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in civilian activities.

Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud
Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud

Guyana Times  reported that, during an exclusive interview with the Top Cop on the sidelines of Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly, he made it clear that he dealt only with policy-making matters and not with operational affairs.
The newspaper stated that it specifically asked Persaud if he made the request for GDF Sergeant Robert Pyle to engage in SOCU’s stakeout operation, to which the Police Commissioner answered: “Those are operational things; the Unit (SOCU) deals with that. I deal with policies.”
The GDF Sergeant died tragically following a high-speed chase, which ensued during a bungled covert surveillance activity purportedly targeting NICIL Head Winston Brassington. However, reports eventually confirmed that the Army Officer and his special team targeted the wrong people in a case of mistaken identity. The chase ended with a resounding collision on Carifesta Avenue which claimed the lives of the GDF rank; his wife Stacy and Canter truck driver Linden Eastman.
Since then, controversy has shrouded the entire exercise and the relevant authorities have remained resolutely tight-lipped on the incident. The operation has also generated much public disquiet. However, when asked to respond to the public’s concerns on the matter, Persaud simply said, “That has been a culture of our society. Everybody called on everybody else for everything.”
He also indicated that he was unaware of the identity of the other persons, if any, under Police surveillance as it related to the NICIL probe.
Reports recently surfaced that NICIL Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) Marcia Nadir-Sharma filed a Police report of being shadowed by tinted vehicles, suspected to be those of SOCU officials. But the Police Commissioner explained that the NICIL investigation involved “a volume of matter” and he did not get into every detail.
He also posited that the SOCU Head Sydney James would have more details on the operation, since his task was to simply ensure SOCU operated within the law.
Moreover, Persaud revealed that an investigation has been launched into the incident and the files would soon go to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
According to the Guyana Times report, Persaud is arguably the first public official to break the silence on this matter of national importance.
The GDF had released a statement amid public pressure to disclose that the operation was “legitimate”.
This prolonged deafening silence has generated much uneasiness within the public domain, resulting in the relevant authorities coming in for stern criticism from civil society groups, including the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA); the Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI); Red Thread and the Private Sector Commission (PSC).
Sections of society have already expressed that this particular incident resembled several exercises that were conducted during the Burnham regime when the misuse of the security and intelligence community for political purposes was rampant.
A political lightweight, the United Republic Party (URP) also weighed in on the situation, trenchantly condemning the Government for using the country’s Army intelligence to weaken national security and to spy on civilians.
“So the APNU (PNC)-AFC Government, which came to power only last May (2015), has been spying on citizens as it did between 1965 and 1992. One can only assume that it is also eavesdropping on conversations. This is a complete repeat of what occurred between 1965 and 1992 when the PNC (now APNU) assumed total control of the society establishing an ethnic dictatorship,” the Party said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a multitude of questions still remain unanswered including: Why was Brassington’s private residence under surveillance? Who authorised the GDF rank to conduct surveillance? Who gave the political direction to SOCU to conduct surveillance? Who instructed the GDF to assist SOCU in the investigation? and Why was Sergeant Pyle’s wife with him on a legitimate operation?

15 COMMENTS

  1. Man, is wha going on wid this country. Who is in control. There seems to be no co- ordination within. Isn’t the Minister the one with the policy making and the Commissioner be handling the activities. This President is letting his boys go willy nilly then he is force to pop up time and time again to defend them.

  2. You are not aware of what going on in Guyana are you a Christmas blow blow or a puppet for the PNC/AFC government now.

  3. Blackhorse.
    I have been asking the same question over and over. Was there an evil motive behind the scenes? Was it even a true case of mistaken identy or the couple knew exactly what they were after.?There are many many questions left unanswered .Who exactly orderd the operation?. Why?

  4. Dax – Not only Esmile missing but Harmon too like he gone into hiding:: When last anyone heard from Nagamook babboo boss Harmon? lol

  5. How much more stupid can you be to believe that this type of military dictatorship can replace good democratic governance that people hoped they were voting for? How many military governments have ever been successful in modern day society. ? Think , my friend, think.

  6. Military governance may not be a bad thing😊 At order and discipline will be restored after years of lawlessness, corruption and immorality.

    Don’t you think? 😊

  7. This top cop seems to be unaware of a lot of other things.The Government need to find a way to have this guy and those responsible for the surveillance operation be summarily retired, reassigned or transferred.That is the proper way to address these types of personnel challenges.

  8. Missing! Missing! Has anyone seen or heard anything from or about Emile_Mervin? Enjoy reading his garbage on this medium but for some strange reason, can’t see anything from him lately.

  9. This PNC regime is total dictatorship. Guyana has become like Iraq under Saddam or Libya under Gadaffi! What a shame to know this is what the people has voted for…What is even more sad, Burhnam used the same tatics to perish Guyana, loot and rig elections for 30+ years…..seems like history is repeating itself with the PNC regime….lets hope to god for the sake of the people when next elections roll around, free a fair voting is allowed…or else-DOOM TIME!

  10. We are back to the days of Burnham, this time its a military dictatorship, with a military man sitting on the throne. The regime is ably supported by the AFC, WPA and others who fought for “change” in Guyana. Those who voted for “change” got it. It is obvious that the GPF is being infiltrated/sidelined by political elements and this is a breach of the Constitution. This Government has no interest in the welfare of the people: what is the situation with VAT, the rice industry, sugar, climate change, forestry, and all the promises made to the people. Most of all what about “unity”?? The government has three immediate priorities: (i)more money and expansion for the military, (ii) setting up a mechanism to cling on to power by strategically placing their own people in certain key positions and (iii) celebrations, pomp and ceremony for Guyana’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The APNU, supported by AFC, are in government to enrich themselves and their own people.

  11. Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud::
    Top Cop “unaware” of SOCU’s surveillance activity – in controversial NICIL probe::
    The only Guyanese who believe men like Seelall-mook- Naga-mook-Rumjhaat-mook-Ropenarine-mook are very smart people are PNC core base supporters.
    Most PPP core based supporters know these Mooks are just PNC stooges.
    But you cant blame US for doing what US does can you?
    US fat man told some of these Mooks to join PNC lets make thing appear like an Ethnic Unity Political Party and US and GECOM will bring PNC victory..
    PNC were told not to go after all the Mooks –were told to leave some of the Mooks in vital organs like Police Army and not to forget our Beloved Brilliant DPP lady.
    You ask all the Mooks them if they know anything that PNC does they will say no.
    You cant blame them because the top Copper – the 2 Prime Ministers that are Mooks are just that on paper only and nothing more to them.
    You bet these top PNC Mooks are under PNC radar too but they dont know it as yet..
    Be reminded that the US Installed President Graingehheh said him dont trust Nagamook since Nagamook will always be PPP ??? what more do the other Mooks need to know they are what they are to PNC on paper only..

  12. Gone are those days when Guyanese are going to sit back and relax. I am so happy that people are beginning to ‘stand up’and demand answers. The main question is why was Sergeant Pyle’s wife with him if he was on a legitimate operation? So sad young couple have died so tragically RIP

  13. So it’s confirmed now, we are 100% being governed by a military regime. Sad times lay ahead, our “vote like a boss” friends, was this the change you voted for? Too late to say, I told you so!

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