Paul Slowe slapped with fraud, sexual assault charges; released on bail

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Suspended chairman of the Police Service Commission and Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Paul Slowe was released on $325,000 bail on Friday on three counts of sexual assault and the offence of conspiracy to defraud the State of just over $10 million.

Slowe recently returned from overseas and appeared before Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs- Marcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Upon his arrival at the courthouse, ranks from the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) tried to physically arrest Slowe to formally institute the charges against him.

But this was quickly thwarted by his attorneys, Selwyn Pieters and Patrice Henry, who advised that this issue should be dealt with in court.

While in court Slowe was arraigned on similar charges which were instituted in May against retired Assistant Commissioner, Clinton Conway; Assistant Commissioner Royston Andries-Junor; former Police Finance officers, Woman Senior Superintendent, Marcelene Washington and retired Senior Superintendent, Michael Sutton; staff of the Police Finance Office, Assistant Superintendent, Marlon Kellman and three retired officers identified as Assistant Commissioner, Claude Whittaker, Senior Superintendent, George Fraser and Superintendent Mark Gilbert.

Slowe was not required to plea to the conspiracy charge which alleged that between March 1, 2019, and July 7, 2020, at the Guyana Police Force Headquarters, Eve Leary, he conspired with Conway, Whittaker, Fraser, Gilbert, Andries-Junor,  Washington, Sutton and  Kellman, and with other persons, to defraud the Force of $10,056,000.

It is alleged that Slowe, along with others, were paid the money without complying with the proper procedures, purportedly to do a review of the Force Standing Orders. It was found that this review had already commenced in July 2018 and concluded in March 2019, by the Strategic Planning Unit of the Force.

Meanwhile, the former senior cop was also charged with three counts of sexual assault, which was allegedly committed on a female member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) in 2019.

The charges alleged that between March 26 and April 2, 2019, Slowe allegedly touched the victim in a sexual way by rubbing her left leg and foot without consent.

Slowe was not required to plea to the three charges. He told the court that while out of the jurisdiction, on October 8, a summons was sent to his attorney for him to appear in court on Friday.

According to Slowe’s attorney, the State had charged their client in his absence and tried arresting him when he arrived in court to answer the charges.

The Magistrate released Slowe on $100,000 bail for the conspiracy charge and $75,000 on each count of sexual assault. The case is adjourned until November 26.

The News Room had reported that an investigation conducted by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) revealed that Leslie James, former Commissioner of Police, solely hired Slowe, Conway, Whittaker, Gilbert and Fraser to conduct a complete revision of the Standing Orders.

SOCU alleged that James did not prepare a budget for the service that was offered; he made no contractual agreements with specifications of what was to be revised and terms of payments. It is also alleged that the former top cop never sent for nor received approval from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Security or the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board.

It is SOCU’s case that the payments amounted to over $10 million and it should have been budgeted and sent to the Tender board for approval.

SOCU is contending that the very Standing Orders that James hired the former Officers to revise, were already revised by highly qualified and competent policy analysts of the Strategic Planning Unit.

It was also discovered that even though the hefty sum was paid to the officers in question, they did not provide the Force with a completed revised Standing Order.

SOCU discovered that payment accounts were prepared individually from March 2019 upon instructions from the Head of the Strategic Planning Unit (SPU), Assistant Commissioner Royston Andries-Junor.

It is alleged that upon his transfer from the Unit in November 2019, he instructed the new Head of SPU, to ensure she continues making out payment accounts for the said officers. She made out accounts as instructed until February 2020.

An examination by SOCU of over 60 payment vouchers showed that Washington and Sutton signed 15 Payment Vouchers collectively as the Accounting Officer (Washington 8 and Sutton 7).

As a result of what they did, Kellman entered the information into the IFMIS although the vouchers were not approved and signed by the substantive accounting officer.

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