Ramjattan decries recklessness, negligence after cocaine goes missing from police HQ

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday said that ranks from the Guyana Police Force would have to bear some of the blame for the disappearance of a quantity of cocaine from Police Headquarters, Eve Leary on Tuesday.

“We have some elements in the police force that are, if they are not totally reckless, they’re so negligent that you have to put blame on some of them,” Ramjattan told reporters following the commissioning of a property room at the Criminal Investigation Department’s headquarters, where he noted that the situation would shine a “negative light” on the police force.

“We do have some systems in place but I suppose it’s being violated too often and that is why we want a property room where there will be proper record keeping,” Ramjattan, added.

On this note, he stressed that the newly-commissioned property room which was funded through Canada, would help to better manage the storage of evidence.

“If you were to open the suitcase… all of that would have to be done there and it will be videoed, see here we have a video recorder that is going to video all of that, so no police wouldn’t come and say, ‘Well, I lef’ it on the desk and somebody mus’e tek am out and that kind of thing,” he explained.

The minister added that he has his suspicions as to the ranks who might have been involved in the incident but kept the names to himself.

Following the report of the cocaine being missing, several ranks attached to the Narcotics Branch have been questioned, a source told Stabroek News.

This newspaper was told that the illegal substance had been seized from ex-policeman Travis Mendonca, 31, a resident of Linden, who was recently sentenced to three years imprisonment for having just over three pounds of cocaine in his possession.

About two weeks ago, ranks attached to the Narcotics Branch arrested Mendonca at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, after the cocaine was found hidden in his suitcase.

At the time of the discovery, Mendonca was an outgoing passenger destined for United States of America.

He had appeared in the Providence Magistrate’s Court, where he pleaded guilty to the charge.

Another man, Delvor Bunbury, is wanted by the police in relation to the discovery.

On September 15, the police had issued a wanted bulletin for twenty-seven-year-old Bunbury, a resident of 37 Victoria Road, Plaisance, East Coast Demerara.

The Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has launched an investigation into the disappearance of the cocaine.

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