Disbanding the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) is not the answer to the corruption that was uncovered by the Guyana Police Force (GPF)’s Audit Department, says Head of the Transparency International Guyana Inc. (TIGI), Dr. Troy Thomas. Rather, he says, the answer lies in ensuring that the officials who were complicit in illegal acts are made to face the music.
During an interview with the Guyana Standard today, Dr. Thomas said, “The issue at SOCU is about people. It is not about the organisation. And in any organisation, if there are people who don’t follow the rules or obey the law then they should face the consequences. So disbanding SOCU is not the answer. We need to get it to function properly and get people who will follow the law.”
The Guyana Standard asked Dr. Thomas if he has seen the report that was done by the GPF.
In response, the TIGI head said, “I have seen the initial report on SOCU but we have not dealt with it in detail…But it did outline fraud and so forth and when you find people engaging in these activities then they have to face the music.”
Just last week, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, had accused the government of turning a blind eye to the corruption that was taking place at SOCU. But Dr. Thomas told this news agency that he does not agree with that viewpoint. He posited that this would be difficult to prove.
Dr. Thomas said, “I understand that elections is around the corner so such comments would be made. I am not saying that it is not possible but I do not know to what extent the government turned a blind eye. You would have to have reports that this was taken to the government and nothing was done and then you can say they turned a blind eye.”
He added, “But what I would say is if you have information about people doing things they are not supposed to do then take them to the courts.”