Police yet to complete work on SOCU fraud report

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Police Legal Advisor Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh says she has so far not received the information she requested from the Police on the corruption allegations against the Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).

Her comment follows that of Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan who told reporters Wednesday that the file is still with the Legal Advisor.

Justice Singh told the News Room on Thursday that what she received was an audit report from the Police on May 15 and she replied on May 17 with specific instructions on how the Police should proceed in order for her to offer advice.

Justice Singh said that she needed more than just an audit report to offer advice. She said the Police needed to provide her with statements of the allegations that were made and that they needed to have confrontations with the parties involved. Further, she said that there are allegations of forged signatures and so the Police need to solicit experts to determine these claims.

When contacted Thursday by the News Room, Police Commissioner Leslie James confirmed that the Police Advisor had returned what was sent to her and he said “further action is being taken” by the Force.

An audit of SOCU– the body set up to investigate financial crimes -found backdated cheques, lack of receipts for various sums, forgery of signatures, irregular transactions, duplicated invoices and other fraudulent activities between 2016-2019.

The audit was ordered by the Police Commissioner following claims of mismanagement of over $52M collected from the Public Security Ministry for operational costs.

The Head of SOCU was sent on leave earlier this month and on July 19, the Guyana Police Force announced the appointment of Ms Althea Padmore as the acting Head.

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