One person has been arrested in relation to Wednesday night’s events that saw four enforcement officers from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) coming under fire from a number of suspected smugglers at Mahaicony.
When contacted last evening, Crime Chief Leslie James verified this information and said that the matter is still being investigated. He explained that the police had received information and, acting on this, contacted the suspect and took him into police custody.
James noted that the operation was the GRA’s and Commissioner-General of the body, Khurshid Sattaur, would best be able to supply information.
“In all fairness a report should be given by the GRA; you should endeavour to get on to Mr Sattaur,” he said.
However, multiple attempts to contact Sattaur yesterday proved futile. The head of the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) told this newspaper that any requests for information must be made directly to Sattaur and no one else.
Wednesday night’s shooting raised questions on the protection offered to enforcement officers during busts.
Though the officers were armed, their weapons were no match for the high-powered guns of the smugglers. According to reports, the purported chicken smugglers fired shots at the officers using shotguns and AK-47s.
The maintaining of the integrity of crime scenes also remains a concern. On Thursday, when Stabroek News visited the scene of the shooting, four men were observed inside the yard where the shooting occurred unpacking frozen chicken into plastic bags. When questioned, the men said that they were unaware of the details of the shooting and refused to share their names. They all maintained that they did not live in the area.
Residents had expressed surprise that the area had not been cordoned off following the shooting.
According to reports, LEID officers were conducting the exercise at Dundee late Wednesday night when the businessman suddenly appeared. There was a heated argument between the businessman and the officers before shots were fired by the man. The officers returned fire before fleeing the area.
The shooters managed to escape. The police are still seeking the known Mahaica-based businessman and other accomplices.