The opposition PPP today called for the shutting down of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) and for an investigation to be mounted into its operations.
The PPP call in press release follows the publication of a news item in today’s Stabroek News which reported that a Guyana Police Force audit of SOCU has found serious irregularities including the falsification of records. The audit recommended immediate transfers and a fraud investigation of several discrepancies.
An edited version of the PPP press release on SOCU follows:
“The explosive revelations of fraud, falsification of records, misuse and pilfering of monies, including seized cash, and a host of serious irregularities exposed by the recent audit conducted into the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) have vindicated the concerns repeatedly expressed by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) over the past four years, in respect of the operations of that Unit.
“From the inception, the PPP has been publicly complaining that SOCU has derogated from its original mandate of combatting organised crimes and money laundering and has been reduced to a rogue Unit carrying out political directions to witch hunt PPP leaders and shake down the business community under the pretext of crime fighting.
“This agenda of political vendetta has seen the arrests and charge of several PPP leaders and public officers, who served their country while the PPP was in Government. In most cases, criminal charges, never heard of before and alien to the law, have been instituted against highly qualified professional Guyanese causing tremendous reputational damage and immense stress and trauma to those charged and their families…
“The public was made aware of the unholy relationship between Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Attorney General, Basil Williams, British consultant, Dr. Sam Sittlington, and senior functionaries at SOCU, who were sighted jovially sipping wine and champagne at public places after arresting a number of PPP leaders.
“The materials disclosed by the audit have confirmed our worst fears. But, we are convinced that it is only the tip of the iceberg. This Unit has rendered itself absolutely unfit to function as a law enforcement agency and as part of the prosecutorial arm of the State…
“In the circumstances, the PPP demands that this Unit be shut down, immediately; that Minister Ramjattan resigns with immediate effect and that a forensic audit be conducted by an impartial and professional Auditor into the functioning and affairs of this Unit with an intent to prosecute all those implicated in skullduggery”.