Jagdeo says ‘coziness’ between police, business community must be examined

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Police officers are allowed to provide extra protection services to members of the business community but this practice may have resulted in a level of “coziness” that should be examined, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said on Friday.

At a press conference, the Vice President offered brief comments on recent allegations made by Police Sergeant Dion Bascom. The officer claims that there was a cover-up in the murder investigation for Ricardo Fagundes, called Paper Shorts.

These allegations also spotlighted another concern: the police practice of providing services to members of the business community. This is commonly referred to as moonlighting and it is a practice where officers offer protection services for payments.

With Bascom fingering well-known business players and alleging they exercise influence over police officers, this practice has come under scrutiny.

“We have to find another safe way of doing this because when this happens there is a level of cosiness between elements of the police force and the (business) people.

“They are working legally but the coziness starts developing there,” Jagdeo said during a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown, on Friday.

These services are provided to gold dealers, car dealers and companies in the oil and gas sector among other for the transporting of valuable merchandise and large sums of cash.

Bascom’s allegations involved local gold dealers, named by Jagdeo at the press conference.

Meanwhile, the Vice President backed President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s call for a full and complete investigation into the allegations made.

Jagdeo also said that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/) does not condone any illegal acts, and as such, people must face the consequences for their actions.

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