Even though the audit report which exposed rampant corruption that was taking place at the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) from 2016 to now called for terminations and transfers, not a single person has been sent home, even on administrative leave, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has revealed.
The politician confirmed this during an exclusive interview with Guyana Standard this afternoon. Further to this, Minister Ramjattan said that the matter has since been turned over to the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, and is now awaiting legal advice.
Ramjattan said, “I believe James has done the right thing in view of the findings and recommendations.”
In addition to this, the minister sought to address the perception being peddled by the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo, that the government had turned a blind eye to the corruption that was taking place at the Unit.
Ramjattan said, “The report came, the results were examined and it was turned over to the commissioner. Therefore, this cannot be called ‘turning a blind eye’ like Jagdeo used to do…It is chalk to cheese when you compare the approach to corruption between the two.” He added, “Once the reports come in, we investigate.”
The Minister was also opposed to the suggestion by the political opposition that the SOCU audit report underscores the need for the Unit to be disbanded. Ramjattan emphatically stated that this is not the solution and dismissed the suggestion as “ridiculous”. The politician said that the authorities will utilise the lessons learned from the audit and ensure that, in future, it is never repeated or, if it does happen again, the culprits are made to pay the price.
The Minister said that his focus will always be on addressing corruption and, while doing so may take some time, there must be respect for due process.