Commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit Motie Dookie, who was placed under close arrest after he was reportedly caught with 30 cases of smuggled whisky, should be dismissed from the force, according to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan.
In a telephone interview with Stabroek News, Ramjattan said Deputy Superintendent of Police Dookie “should face the full brunt of the law and when I say full, I mean he should be dismissed.”
“This is a very serious offence committed by a senior member of the force. Dookie has violated the principles and integrity of the police force… we cannot have rogue elements like him in the force…elements like him do damage to the force,” Ramjattan added.
Ramjattan noted that he does not have the authority to dismiss the commander and if such a measure has to be taken, it should be done by the Police Service Commission (PSC). The PSC is yet to be reconstituted since the life of the previous body expired late last year.
Asked how early a new PSC would be in place, Ramjattan said, “I know it is very soon; the Office of the President is dealing with it.”
He further stated that for the commission to function effectively, they would need “good commissioners who would do the right things. We cannot afford to have a commission like the last one who promoted that officer who burnt the genitals of a young boy.”
Dookie was travelling in a minibus along the Whim Public Road, Corentyne, when it was intercepted by a police anti-crime patrol.
The police have said that after being stopped, Dookie indicated that 10 cases of whiskey were in the minibus and he was taking it to be used for “a party.” However, a search of the minibus revealed that 30 cases were aboard. They were seized.
Ramjattan denied that that the liquor was to be used for the police force’s New Year’s Ball as was reportedly claimed by the Deputy Superintendent when he was intercepted. “That is absolutely not true. He was not permitted to leave the region. He was supposed to be doing his job,” the minister said while charging that Dookie attempted to “tarnish the reputation of the police force.”
Ramjattan said that investigators have sent off a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice on charges against Dookie. Investigations were conducted over the weekend.
He said that his ministry and the leadership of the police force have zero-tolerance for rogue behaviour.
“We have adopted a system where the abnormal was seen as normal and the normal is seen as abnormal… It is going to take time for us to fix this to ensure there is professionalism, integrity and competence in the police force,” he further added.
Ramjattan also stated that the junior rank who intercepted Dookie should be promoted and he would be recommending a promotion for the rank.
Dookie had taken over the leadership of the SWAT unit from Deputy Superintendent Lonsdale Withrite, who was relieved of the post following after being robbed at gunpoint in October of his loaded service revolver and his car. Withrite was on the Industry, East Coast Demerara seawall, where he was pounced upon by three bandits, who robbed him. Police found the car on the Ogle Airstrip Road, on the East Coast of Demerara, a few hours after the robbery. It is unclear if the weapon and ammunition were ever recovered.