Two policemen were yesterday placed on $200,000 bail each after they appeared before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court to answer the charge of receiving stolen articles.
It is alleged that on December 28, 2012, Andrew Pollydore and Andre Albert received an Apple laptop with power cord, valued $360,000; a computer bag valued $5,000 and a hard drive valued $6,000, all totaling $371,000, knowing same to be feloniously stolen. The items were the property of Troy Lee Edwards.
The jointly-charged Albert, 29, of 229 Lamaha Park, Georgetown, and Pollydore, 25, of 11 Charles Street Charlestown, George-town and 295 Wisroc Housing Scheme, Linden, both pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecutor Stephen Telford told the court that on December 24, 2012 at around 10:30pm, the defendants received information about an armed robbery at Haslington, East Coast Demerara, regarding the articles mentioned in the charge along with other articles.
The court then heard from Telford that on December 28, other police officers received further information relating to the matter, which led the lawmen to perform a sting operation that later led to the arrest of the defendants.
In a statement on the initial armed robbery, the police had said that on Christmas Eve, a taxi-driver and his three passengers were held up by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, at Haslington North, East Coast Demerara.
It is alleged that the two police constables were subsequently caught red-handed returning the stolen computer to the owner, who had given them a sum of money for the return of the article.
Attorney-at-law Satyesh Kissoon, who represented the men, told the court that they have impeccable records. In requesting reasonable bail, Kissoon said that they pose no risk of flight and have been cooperating with police investigations.
Counsel, after making his bail application, told the court that his clients were kept in police custody for more than six days, violating their constitutional right of not being kept in excess of 72 hours.
He further stated that his clients’ cell phones are currently in police custody and enquired if they can be returned. In response to this, the prosecution, however, told the court that the phones are being kept, since investigations are still being conducted and more charges are likely to be laid.
The lawyer said that Albert has been a member of the Guyana Police Force for the past 12 years and prior to being charged he was stationed at the Cove and John Police Station.
Pollydore, meanwhile, has been a serving member of the force for three years, he said.
The prosecution had no objections to counsel’s bail application but asked that it be set in a substantial sum with conditions attached. He requested that the men lodge their travel documents with the police and that they report to Inspector Ali every second Friday of the month at the Cove and John Police Station at 8am until the matter is determined.
Counsel asked for a reduction in bail, but this application was met with opposition by the prosecution.
Telford contended that given the monetary value of the alleged stolen items, the bail granted by the court was reasonable in the circumstances and again advanced that additional charges are likely to be made against the duo.
The presiding magistrate after listening to both counsel and the prosecution granted the men bail in the sum of $200,000 each with the conditions requested by the prosecution.
The men are scheduled to make their next court appearance on January 21.