Cops question suspect in Lethem arms bust over illegal airstrip

Clive King, who police identified as a person of interest after an arms cache was unearthed in Lethem last October, was questioned by police on Monday about allegedly constructing an illegal airstrip at the border community.

King, 36, called ‘Bora,’ last week surrendered to police and was later released on station bail after his lawyer filed habeas corpus proceedings.

Although his lawyer moved to the court once more on Monday, police are insisting that King was not rearrested. Instead, they say that he was questioned when he went for a check-in with police, which is a condition of his release.

Clive King
Clive King

Crime Chief Seelall Persaud told Stabroek News that King had to report back to police but was wanted in relation to reports that he had constructed an illegal airstrip at Lethem. According to Persaud, the businessman was interviewed in relation to that.

King had been identified as the principal suspect after the discovery of the high-powered cache of arms at Tabatinga, Lethem on October 1st last year, when police raided a house that belonged to him. They found four automatic rifles along with four magazines and 389 rounds of 7.62×39 calibre ammunition; six M-16 rifles along with two magazines and 74 matching rounds; two shrapnel hand grenades; an Icon VHF radio set; an Icon hand-held radio set; and a roll of camouflage material.

It was believed that King fled to Brazil after the find and there was no sign of him until his surrender last week. One of King’s employees, Benedict Thompson and King’s wife were brought by police from Lethem to Georgetown after the find. King’s wife was released, while Thompson, 19, was charged with having in his possession an AK-47 rifle without being the owner of a firearm licence; having in his possession 389 7.62×39 live rounds, without a licence to use such; having possession of three AK-47 rifles, six M15 rifles, four AK-47 magazines, an AK-47 drum magazine, and one M15 magazine, without being a licensed firearm holder; and having possession of two anti-riot grenades without lawful authority to have such weapons in his possession. The case remains before the court.

Police had issued a wanted bulletin for both him and the late Ricardo Rodrigues, a one-time associate of convicted drug kingpin Roger Khan, a week after the discovery was made. Rodrigues, who surrendered the next day and was released on station bail after being detained by police for a day, was later shot dead in an attack by gunmen.

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