…in response to several arrests today of former govt officials
Leader of the Opposition and former President, Dr Bharrat Jadgeo was released after his arrest and detainment at the hands of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) earlier this afternoon.
Following his release from SOCU’s Headquarters at Camp Street, Jagdeo told media operatives that the arrest and detainment of himself, Dr Roger Luncheon and other former government officials and supporters was clearly an intended ‘Witch Hunt’ aimed at targeting and trying to mum the political Opposition from speaking out on the way the incumbent Administration is mismanaging the economy.
He said further that “with the vindictive nature of this government, charges will be laid in the future and when those are laid, we will contest them in Court.”
Jagdeo noted that the SOCU agents asked several him questions relating to the Pradoville transactions and he related that he made a short statement.
The State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) that operates within the Ministry of the Presidency had recommended that charges be laid against former government ministers, following investigations into the procedures employed prior to the transfer and issuance of prime real estate lands at Sparendaam, Lower East Coast Demerara, known as Pradoville (2) to the said parties.
The Opposition Leader expressed his sympathies towards the Police officers and other officials who are working for SOCU, while noting that “they are under tremendous pressure to go after political opponents of this government rather than go after people that they were set up to go after.”
Moreover, Jagdeo’s attorney on the matter, Anil Nandlall stated that after he spoke to Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, he was told that SOCU was not acting on directives from him, or the Guyana Police Force. As such, Nandlall reiterated Jagdeo’s claims that SOCU was acting on instructions from the Government, more specifically, the President and Minister of Public Security.
According to Jagdeo the entire SOCU that was set up under the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) to go after organised crime, in consonance with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), has been shifted to go after the political opponents of the Government.
He recalled the comments made by Government’s advisor Eric Phillips, who had outlined in the media that 700,000 ounces of gold were being smuggled out of Guyana on an annual basis which is close to 1B US dollars.
Jagdeo then said with all their purported claims of criminality, Government has “not made in two years of this government an arrest of drug dealers of major note, underground drug trafficking, nor have they brought a case against anyone for smuggling a billion US per annum out of the country.”
“But guess who they have gone after… Just look at this now with all the worries that this country has etc, you are now going after Luncheon for one plot of land that he got in 23 years at Pradoville, that is the entire focus of this government” the Opposition Leader posited.
According to the former President, “If they believe that any of these acts will intimidate us or make us scared of exposing the wrongdoings of the government, where they are taking the country, they are wrong about it…we are not afraid, we will continue to expose the wrongdoings of the Government.”