Three serving members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) charged with rape and demanding money with menace from suspected trafficking victims were given special treatment — including being spared handcuffs and having their photos blocked from being taken — when they appeared this morning before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
The officers, Constable Corywn Mingo, 30, of Section ‘C’ Enterprise, East Coast Demerara; Corporal Ceon Jones, 34; and Corporal Tevin Estrado, 37, are accused of using menace to demand valuables from three Venezuelan women.
The first charge against the trio stated that between May 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018 at Makari Top, Mazaruni, with the intent to steal, they demanded with menace that Benny Vanessa, Benita Rivero, and others hand over three pennyweight of raw gold valued at $31,500.
The second charge stated that, during the same period, the men with the intent to steal demanded with menace that Yanetzy Andreina, Lozada Rog, and others hand over to them six pennyweight of raw gold valued at $61,000.
The last charge alleged that, during the same period, with the intent to steal, they demanded with menace that Yurianny Del Valle Ramirez and others hand over to them six pennyweight of raw gold valued at $60,000.
They all denied the allegations after they were read to them in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Constable Mingo was also charged separately; his charge stated that, between May 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018 at Makari Top, Mazaruni, he engaged in sexual penetration with a Venezuelan woman without her consent.
He was not required to plead to the indictable charge after it was read to him.
According to information, during the month of May 2018, ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary, were investigating reports of the trafficking of three Venezuelan women.
During the said investigation the defendants, who were stationed at the Issano Police Station, made contact with the Venezuelans and demanding money from them during a stop and search operation at Makari Top, Mazaruni.
The fearful women handed the officers the raw gold and Mingo had sexual intercourse with one of the women without her consent.
The victims then went and reported the matter and the officers were placed on identification parade and were positively identified as the persons who committed the offences.
Further investigations were conducted, advice was sought, and the officers were subsequently charged.
While the court prosecutor had no objection to bail being granted to the officers he asked that conditions be attached. Hence, the Magistrate released the officers on $30,000 bail each on the menace charges. Mingo was granted $180,000 bail for his solo rape charge.
Condition of the bail is that they report every Friday to the Bartica Police Station until the hearing and determination of the trial. They are expected to make their next court appearance on May 16, 2019 at the Bartica Police Station.
While defendants are usually handcuffed and shackled before exiting through the prisoners’ chute, the three officers were not subjected to the same treatment. Instead, the men, upon exiting the chute, were all smiles as their colleagues guarded them from having their photos taken by reporters.
They then made their way into the police outpost where they sat on tables and interacted with their colleagues.