Cops’ numbers were found in slain bandit’s phone

-ranks call for corruption probe, implicate senior officer

Kelvin Shivgobin (Police photo)

The numbers of four policemen stationed in ‘B’ Division (Berbice) were found stored in the cellphone of accused bandit Kelvin Shivgobin, who was killed in the recent shootout at Black Bush Polder and some of their fellow ranks want an independent investigation as they say the four are engaged in corrupt practices and are being aided by a senior officer in the Guyana Police Force leadership.

The ranks, who only spoke on condition of anonymity, told Stabroek News that they believe that if they do not speak out on the corrupt practices, nothing will be done and they said the situation is already “getting out of hand.” 

The ranks, who all have years of service in the force, believe no one in ‘B’ Division is willing to hold the four accountable for their actions and as a result they want Commissioner of Police Leslie James to intervene to have an independent investigation carried out. “If they investigate, they will find out everything as long the one man in Georgetown not part of the investigation ’cause he does clean up all them things,” one of the ranks said. “We got to speak out because we don’t want to get catch up in them things this and we can’t just sit down and watch them do this no more. When them drinking them boasting about what them do people and who them does pay and who does pay them,” he added.

According to the ranks, not only were the numbers of four ranks found but they were also in call logs of the phone, indicating that Shivgobin had been in contact with them.

One of the four was identified as a corporal, who is stationed on the Lower Corentyne, and he was allegedly receiving payoffs to tip off the now dead man whenever the police were closing in on his location. It is said that he was paid as much as $800,000.

The ranks believe that the corporal and Shivgobin became close during a murder trial, which ended with the accused being released due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

After those proceedings, the man was never rearrested although he was wanted in connection with a double murder and several robberies. It is believed that the corporal acted as his mole in the division and who tipped him off whenever the police received information about his whereabouts.

However, the ranks said that in the recent Black Bush shootout the corporal did not have time to give him a tip off since senior police officers acted as soon as they received information about the men’s whereabouts.

Shivgobin, also known as ‘Kelly,’ 32, of Belvedere Village, Corentyne, Ramnarine Jagmohan, 33, of Belvedere Squatting Area, and his brother, Tameshwar Jagmohan, were the three men who were killed in the shootout with police.

Shivgobin was wanted by the police for the murder of Bush Lot brothers Premcharran and Harricharran Samaroo, who were fatally shot during a robbery at their mother’s house on December 31st last year. Following the murders, police had received information that Shivgobin had fled to Suriname but returned to Bush Lot, Corentyne, where he was hiding out at a friend’s house. However, he was never found.

The ranks said the dead man’s phone has since been sent to Georgetown and they suspect that the numbers of the policemen that were stored may have been deleted by now as a senior police officer, who is based in Georgetown, has been protecting the corporal.

They explained that the corporal often boasts that he is “untouchable” as a result of the protection given to him by the senior officer. To illustrate the situation they cited a case where the corporal allegedly pulled a weapon on a relative during an argument, which resulted in his firearm being taken away and him being transferred out of the division. However, one rank said the corporal later boasted that the same day he received the transfer to the Tactical Services Unit he contacted the senior officer, who rescinded the transfer. The corporal reportedly claimed that he paid the senior officer $120,000 to ensure that he was not transferred out of the division.

Meanwhile, according to the ranks, the senior police officer is well known in Berbice as the person to contact when in trouble. They said he is often seen at a known gambling spot in Rose Hall, where he receives money from persons to ensure certain matters are settled in their favour.

Furthermore, the ranks are also in receipt of information that a hire car driver is enlisted to transport alcoholic beverages to the senior police officer in Georgetown from certain business persons in Berbice. They said the hire car driver, whose vehicle is heavily-tinted, has been stopped at roadblocks and would then phone the senior officer, who gives instructions to ranks to let him go.

The ranks said two of the police ranks whose numbers were found in the dead bandit’s phone have also been implicated in corrupt practices.

According to one rank, the two are involved in the drug trade in the division. “I noticed a few things but nobody listened so I am letting the media reveal it. When dem man this go on drug busts, they take a part of it and lodge the rest,” he said.

The fourth rank whose number was stored in the dead man’s phone is a detective, who has also been implicated in illegal activity.  

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