While an audit report on the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) reveals that there was rampant corruption and the mismanagement of state funds, attorney-at-law and Opposition Member, Anil Nandlall, is also accusing the unit of taking millions of dollars in bribes from businessmen.

He made this allegation in his most recent column called “The Unruly House”.

In his piece, Nandlall stated, “In addition to the damaging findings contained in the audit report, they are many businessmen who can relate, but are afraid to, about the millions of dollars that were either stolen from them or extracted as bribes by SOCU officers. It is a public secret within the business community.”

While the opposition member holds this view, there has been no formal report from businesses regarding this issue nor has any private sector body made mention of receiving complaints of same.

Be that as it may, Nandlall, like his other PPP colleagues, stressed that SOCU has strayed far from its statutory mandate of investigating reports supplied to it by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Nandlall said that SOCU has metamorphosed into a unit which takes directions from the Office of the President and other political quarters to witch-hunt opposition members and those who either served the former PPP Government or are perceived to be its supporters.

The opposition member said, “One would recall, the disastrous unauthorised motor surveillance of those who were believed to be Winston Brassington’s family, in December 2015, which led to a deadly crash, killing a young soldier and his wife, leaving two children orphaned. The then Commissioner of Police, publicly, declared that he holds no actual responsibility for SOCU and its operational pursuits.”

Nandlall commented that it has been downhill for SOCU since then.

Considering the findings of the inspection that was conducted by the Audit Department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Nandlall said it is clear that the likelihood of SOCU destroying or concocting evidence for reward, or carrying out political directions is too overwhelming.

In addition to this, the lawyer said, “The fact that SOCU prosecutors are hired and paid by the Attorney General, an active politician, and those chosen, thus far, are operating out of his private law office and out of the private law office of another minister/politician and another one is the brother of a sitting minister makes the whole process too politically incestuous and toxic to meet the standard required for the administration of criminal justice in a civilised society.”

Nandlall concluded that no organisation with such a horrendous track record can remain as part of the law enforcement arm of the state, hence his call for it to be disbanded.



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