‘Everything is under control’ – Crime Chief will remain suspended until investigation is complete
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan is seeking to assure the nation that all is well at the Guyana Police Force following damning allegations against its Crime Chief and Deputy Police Commissioner, Lyndon Alves.
“We have everything in control and that even he who is at the very highest, when they misbehave, we are going to conduct investigation to find out whether it is the truth. A good administration get to the truth. We are not going to have a perfect Police Force just like any Police Force in the world,” the Security Minister said at the sidelines of an event at the Forensic Lab at Sophia, Greater Georgetown on Wednesday.
Alves was suspended effective Monday, June 24, days after the Force revealed that reports in the media of corruption activities in the Berbice division were being investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Recently, a number of police officers have spoken out about alleged corrupt practices and it was first revealed in the Stabroek News and Kaieteur News.
The Stabroek News reported that a group of junior ranks spoke out about a Lance Corporal and other senior ranks who were alleged to have been linked to a murder accused, Kelvin Shivgobin. Shivgobin was recently killed during a shootout with police in Black Bush Polder, Berbice.
It was alleged that their numbers were found stored and in the call log of the mobile phone of the dead man.
According to the Stabroek News, the senior officer was accused of protecting those ranks linked to the dead man as they purportedly aid him in his activities in the division.
The senior rank in question also reportedly accused two detective constables in ‘B’ Division of being sources behind news reports, which has resulted in them being transferred.
Ramjattan on Wednesday told reporters that Alves will remain suspended until the investigation is completed by the OPR.
“And that is not anything untoward…if he is cleared he will come back there, if he is not, well fine. The President, having appointed him, will make certain decisions.”
The whistleblowers, Ramjattan said, will be questioned, their statements taken after which legal advice will be sought.
When asked about ‘Police investigating the Police,’ given that Alves is a senior officer in the Force, and whether he is satisfied with the OPR investigating the issue, Ramjattan said, “I am very comfortable with the OPR, who you want us to put? That is always gonna happen…people will have trouble with anybody but we have to build institutions in Guyana to the extent of letting them get integrity and reputation and unless we start doing that nothing will grow in Guyana…”
The Security Minister made it clear that hundreds of investigations done by the OPR have been respected.
“You do not want to what? You call a CARICOM Commission to come in?”
Meanwhile, Ramjattan refused to offer any comments about such alleged corruption taking place under the nose of the sitting Commander Paul Langevine.
“I would not want to venture into anything like that. That is not going to make me put my mouth into the story. Ministerial mouthings like that is not very good for due process.”
Ramjattan further noted that is not really concerned about the allegations as he wants to remain an impartial party.
“I act on the presumption of irregularity and that is how always a Minister must act. If a Minister start jumping to conclusions that every one of his Police Officer or Deputy Commissioner is a rascal well that is terrible.”
“You cannot apply anything at all with that kind of approach and I acted on the presumption that everybody’s good and clean and if you now have egregious information that says his conduct is bad, you investigate.”