‘Enforcer’ presidential guards to face disciplinary charges

The Director of Public Prose-cutions (DPP) has recommended that disciplinary charges be laid against the ten presidential guards who acted as enforcers during the destruction of a conveyor system at Guyana Sandport Inc in July.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that the errant ranks are to be charged under the Police Disciplinary Act with acting in a manner likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the force. This recommendation was made on September 6 this newspaper was told.

Police Commissioner Henry Greene had told Stabroek News earlier this month that the file had been recalled by the DPP and that the force was waiting on her final pronouncement. He had said that the ranks were not on actual duty. The Presidential Guard Service falls under the Guyana Police Force.

Earlier, the DPP did not recommend criminal charges based on the police investigation that was conducted. Greene had said that the force was looking at the departmental aspect of the matter.

The July 26 incident sparked outrage at the officers’ questionable activities. Head of the unit Rohan Singh had told this newspaper that moonlighting was not acceptable. He noted that the Presidential Guard Service is part of the Guyana Police Force and the rules governing the force also apply to the unit. Singh stressed too that the actions of the ranks who were held in the compound of Guyana Sandport Inc by police, will not be condoned.

Around 2 am, about 30 men, including the presidential guards armed with their guns, stormed the Lot 9 Coverden, East Bank Demerara facility. Members of the group reportedly assaulted two guards on duty. Police, later acting on a report, later found several presidential guards manning the gates. The guards told the responding officers that they could leave, since they (the guards) were already handling the matter and had it under control.

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. It is unclear whether any other presidential guard was implicated in the matter.

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.

De Paula along with those arrested was released without charge after spending less than 72 hours in custody.

There is currently an ongoing court battle over ownership of the business.

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