DPP to decide fate of arrested presidential guards

-moonlighting not condoned, says unit head

The fate of eight members of the Presidential Guard Ser-vice, who were arrested after a recent raid, will be decided by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), which is currently studying the case file.

Head of the Presidential Guard unit Rohan Singh told Stabroek News yesterday that it is awaiting the findings of the DPP, but he assured that negligent ranks will be tried within the confines of the law.

Singh added that the unit will not condone “such actions,” referring to the accusations against the eight ranks held in the compound of the Guyana Sandport Inc., where they had gone to shut down a conveyor system after being hired by a businessman. Singh added that the ranks were still on “open arrest.”

On July 26, around 2 am, about 30 men, including presidential guards armed with their guns, stormed the Lot 9 Coverden, East Bank Deme-rara facility. Members of the group reportedly assaulted two guards on duty. Police, acting on a report, later found presidential guards manning the gates. The guards told the responding officers that they could leave, since they were already handling the matter.

Police, however, later arrested eight presidential guards and five civilians, while the others fled. Stabroek News was told that more presidential guards, who were recruited as enforcers, were involved in the incident.

Following investigations, police sent the case file to the DPP for advice on how to proceed against the presidential guards. It was sent back last week with the recommendation that further investigations be conducted. When contacted yesterday, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said that a file was re-sent to the DPP, which has advised that no action be taken in relation to the damage to property allegation. Persaud added that the case concerning the involvement of the presidential guards is still with the DPP.

Meanwhile, when asked whether presidential guards hiring themselves out is acceptable within the unit, Singh responded in the negative. He explained that the Presidential Guard Service is part of the Guyana Police Force and the rules governing the Force also apply to the Unit.

Co-owner of Guyana Sandport Inc. Rodrigo De Paula, who was among those arrested on site during the raid, later said the men were hired to “conduct a peaceful operation” to remove the conveyor system to prevent the illegal use of the wharf he had rented. He said he was clueless to the fact that they were presidential guards.