Cops under investigation for allegedly stealing $500k from Gold Miner
Three police officers, attached to the Bartica Police Station, are under investigation for allegedly stealing some $500,000 from a Gold Miner of Karrau, Region Seven (Cuyuni Mazaruni).
Commander of ‘F’ Division, Senior Superintendent Ravindradat Budhram told News Room that the investigation was completed expeditiously and the file was sent since October to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice. He disclosed that the officers are under open arrest pending the advice.
Rayad Atkinson, the Operations Manager of his father’s gold mining business, is growing frustrated with the wait and expressed hope that the DPP would soon pronounce on whether the cops should be charged.
Atkinson explained to News Room that on October 11, 2017, he took 11 ounces of gold from his father, who had refused to pay him. Atkinson said he sold five ounces and obtained roughly $1.2M which included some money he already had in his possession.
Atkinson said he then went to a shop in Bartica to purchase a phone when he was approached by three police officers who informed him that his father had reported the matter to the Police Station.
After denying his identity and the crime which he was accused of, Atkinson said the ranks searched him and discovered the remaining ounces of gold and the money. He noted too that he was forced to return his newly purchased phone and retrieve the money as it was considered stolen property.
Atkinson said he was then escorted to the Police Station by the three ranks, however, he alleged that they took a detour to a lonely area in the upper Mazaruni Region.
There, Atkinson claimed that the officers tried to strike a deal to release him from custody if they kept the six ounces of gold. Atkinson said he refused the offer and was then taken to the Police Station.
However, while at the Bartica Police Station, Atkinson claimed that the policemen asked him where the rest of the money was since $500,000 was “missing” from the $1.2M they seized.
Atkinson said he told the cops that he handed over all the money; however, the Gold Miner believes that the policemen decided to steal the $500,000 on the way to the Police Station after he refused to strike a deal with them.
“So they had the receipt of how much I sold the gold for and so they saw the money was missing and they ask where the rest of the money and I told them that all the money was there,” Atkinson told News Room.
Atkinson said he strongly believes that the officers took the money before they proceeded to lodge the items.
Atkinson related that his father did not press charges against him as he [the father] was only interested in retrieving his valuables. However, after realizing that some $500,000 was missing, Atkinson said his father decided that the money will come out of his paycheck.
Atkinson said he then approached the Commander where he related his suspicion that the officers stole the money. A few days after, Atkinson managed to retrieve footage from the shop which proved that he had all the money in his possession prior to it being taken away by the officers; the video was submitted to the Commander.
Shortly after, Atkinson said he was informed by the officer in charge of the investigation into the cops that the probe was concluded and the file sent to the DPP.
However, more than a month has gone by since the investigation was wrapped up but the police have not received any word from the DPP.