Amid an intensive operation to capture drug lord Roger Khan, then Police Commissioner Winston Felix visited the US embassy to request a sweep of his office for listening devices and for help in determining if a house linked to Khan had a concealed basement that might have stolen AK-47s and drugs.
The requests were apparently not passed through the usual government to government channels as Felix and officials of the administration had been at odds particularly over a recording that Khan had made public of the Police Commissioner.
In a cable released by WikiLeaks, then US Ambassador Roland Bullen reported to Washington on March 28, 2006 that Felix had visited the day before and made the requests which stemmed from the joint services’ operation the previous week. Bullen reported that Felix followed up the visit with a formal letter.
Describing Felix as the embassy’s “most trusted and effective
interlocutor on law enforcement issues”, Bullen said that the Commissioner “seeks assistance to determine whether a recently
constructed house believed to be owned by a Khan and/or Ricardo Rodrigues associate, and currently in GPF’s control, has a concealed basement. This house is located near the residence of the Canadian and UK High Commissioners, who observed the installation of a very large concrete pit during the suspected house’s construction. The High Commissioners
initially thought this underground structure was for a swimming pool, yet the completed house has no pool. Felix believes that a concealed basement might contain illegal items, including drugs and the AK-47s that disappeared from the Guyana Defence Force’s armory in February (ref B).
Multiple sources have confirmed that an unusually high number of vehicles went to the suspected house during the first raids against Khan’s properties. Felix said the GPF lacks the resources to detect a concealed basement, but he does not want to release the building until he is sure that no such underground structure exists.”
Bullen related that the requests were being worked on. It is unclear what happened to this request but the media had reported locally during this period that the police had come upon a house that they believed housed a hidden structure. They had been looking for one such structure during their raids after receiving a tip.
The Ambassador said that Felix also sought assistance in conducting a
thorough sweep of his office to ensure that there was no hidden recording device. Khan was believed responsible for the secret Felix recording and the ambassador said that “indications are that Felix’s office may have been bugged. The local phone company GT&T conducted a cursory check of Felix’s office, but not to Felix’s satisfaction.”
Khan and Felix had mutual friends and it was believed that Khan had orchestrated this so that he could have access to Felix’s office. That he could eventually bug Felix’s office proved embarrassing to the then Top Cop and made it easy for the government not to have to consider an extension of his term and pave the way for current commissioner Henry Greene.
Bullen commented on the matter as follows:
“Felix is Post’s most trusted and effective interlocutor on law enforcement issues. The recent army/police raids have put Khan and his associates on the defensive. Failing to thoroughly investigate for a concealed basement at the suspected house would be a terrible missed
opportunity. Likewise, further illegal recordings of Felix’s conversations by Khan would only hamper the current, unprecedented initiative to bring Guyana’s leading narco-traffickers to justice.”