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Ramjattan shuns calls for CoI into botched SOCU op; says Coroners Inquest is enough

Vice President and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan is not in support of calls made by sections of civil society for a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into a Special and Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU) operation that went horribly wrong,

Sources have told Demerara Waves Online News that the GDF operatives had been staking out the home of Alana Seebarran and her husband, Charles Ramson Jr, on Cowan Street, Kingston, Georgetown instead of the home of the Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington next door.

After Seebarran’s brother managed to escape from a road-block set up by the GDF intelligence agents’ vehicles, a high-speed chase ensued that resulted in a fatal collision with a truck on Carifesta Avenue. Dead are GDF Sergeant Robert Pyle, his wife and a truck driver. The Seebarrans immediately reported their encounter to police.

The Guyana Bar Association recently stated that it is imperative that a COI be launched into the botched operation.

“The deaths and their surrounding circumstances are cause for the gravest concern among citizens. It has now been confirmed that at the time of the officer’s death he was engaged in a surveillance operation which it is now known was directed at a public servant who is on leave. The Bar Association believes that an explanation is required for the use of GDF officers to engage in such activities and the legality thereof,” the GBA said in its statement.

In an exclusive comment, Ramjattan told Demerara Waves that he does not see the need for a CoI since it would be costly to the state.

"The Commission of Inquiry demanded by a certain group…no I do not think I will support that," said the Vice President.

He stated that a Coroners Inquest will be held into the deaths as prescribed by law.

"We will have what the law provides for – a Coroners Inquest," the Minister stated.

  • Emile_Mervin

    I do NOT support a Commission of Inquiry, but I do support a closed door parliamentary hearing in which SOCU leaders answer to elected representatives about the true purpose of this surveillance. (Psst! Not holding my breath, just like I did not hold my breath anticipating a parliamentary hearing into CLICO collapse).

    Again, to those questioning SOCU’s motives here, please revert to the PPP’s decision to name a former army Lt. Col. as Assistant Police Commissioner responsible for SOCU, even though there is already a Major Crimes Unit in the police force. The PPP also claimed SOCU was supposed to go after money launderers and terrorist funding, even though there is a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) headed by Paul Geer set up explicitly for this purpose.

    I still cannot wrap my mind around this bungled exercise, which was supposed to target Winston Brassington, because Brassington was, until last month, an employee of the state and if the state wanted any information from him it had seven months to get it.

    And how can there be a mix up between Brassington and Charles Ramson Jr., unless Ramson Jr. was helping Brassington leave the country with vital documents. Recall, if you will, that on October 29, 2014, SOCU made its first bust when a Bulgarian national suspected of money laundering was caught leaving CJIA with US$45,630 and €740.

    According to Guyana Times (November 18, 2014) the Bulgarian national, who was represented by Charles Ramson Jr, left the jurisdiction one day after the money was seized. It was explained that he had the option of staying or leaving.


    • Sean Ori

      YOUR hatred for the PPP/C for alleged wrong-doings has blinded you for the need for a full probe. Alana Seebarran is not on trial here.
      3 people died in Linden….you want a probe.
      3 people died here…you do not want a probe.
      Go figure!

      • Emile_Mervin

        Three people were killed in Linden and no one was held responsible.

        Three people died on Carifesta Avenue and we want to know the facts, which should come from the Police Commissioner, who has oversight for SOCU. After that we can decide whether to call for a COI.

        • Col123

          Emile…I am not for a COI..If you are not in favor for an early COI…would twenty five years from now be OK..

          • Emile_Mervin

            A CoI would only become necessary if there are conflicting accounts. So far, all the coalition has really said is that there will be Coroner’s Inquest. Now, I have no idea who the coroner is or when they will start and finish their work or what will be revealed, given this was a recon mission.

            I already stated my view that since SOCU falls under the Police Commissioner, then he and the SOCU head should be holding a press conference to present the facts of the case. If there are pieces of confidential information essential to pursuing further investigations into Brassington or Ramson or anyone else, then state this.

            In the Benghazi fiasco that claimed the lives of Americans, including a US ambassador, the US government put out various reports, but the US Congress chose to have its own hearings. It is called checks and balance.

            In Guyana, we still have no real official word on what happened. Even Robert Pyle’s brother is begging for an explanation and this should never be. I don’t even know if any police or army top brass visited Pyle’s parents.

    • Col123

      Emile…the last paragraph on Mr Ramson appears to be an ad hominem attack……You do not need any research to find lawyers with political affiliation representing unscrupulous characters…that is their job and it is vital to civil society.

      • Emile_Mervin

        1. Far from attacking Ramson Jr., I am merely showing a coincidence in which Ramson Jr. went up against SOCU while the PPP was in power and pretty much got the Bulgarian a get-out-of-Guyana deal on a serious money laundering charge at a time when there was a big political fight over money laundering legislation. Ramson Jr. could not have pulled that off without political help, thereby making him an up and coming PPP player.

        2. SOCU had to know that Brassington and his children were overseas, so this botched surveillance could not have mistaken the Seebarrans for Brassington’s children. There was more to this than we are being told, and until the Police Commissioner comes clean and clear, political speculation will run wild.

        3. To me, the PPP was never serious about fighting money laundering, and if that pilot busted with US$600,000 in P.R. had made it to Guyana, he would not have been caught laundering that money.

        • Col123

          Emile..Co incidence is not proof. “Ramson could not have pulled that off without political help” is mere conjecture…Your responses are proving that you have an inside source in the past government and other elements who were and are providing you with precise information. When your speculation are presented consistently with intent to represent realty, it affects your integrity. If you are extrapolating information and presenting it in this forum, you may want to say so upfront and forewarn others who may want to review what is your inherent right to express..

  • Sean Ori

    The recent quasi-military surveillance operation against Alana Seebarran, wife of
    PPP/C MP Charles Ramson Jnr, in which it has been alleged that Brassington
    Children (who do not even live in Guyana) was the target for surveillance by
    SOCU and the military, only came to light because of the death of three people.

    There could be other quasi-military operations against other citizens in which the
    military is involved in without Guyanese knowing the details. What skills does
    the military bring in such surveillance operation is unknown.

    That is why it is necessary for a full probe into the affairs of SOCU and the military
    to ascertain if there is any other ongoing quasi-military surveillance
    operations in Guyana against citizens.

    It is imperative for the media to remain free and impartial and ask questions about
    this botched operation.

  • KassemB

    ‘Vice President and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan is not in support of calls made by sections of civil society for a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into a Special and Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU) operation that went horribly wrong,
    That is for Brassington and Ashni only

  • SYL

    Ask Wikileaks they know everything, anyway all govt. and law enforcement has secrets, some may leak, some may never leak.The damn place so corrupt that it makes Nigerians look like saints.

    • Col123

      SYL…see…you lighten up things with some humor…that is better..

  • Danny Persaud

    Emile u always grunt like ur cousin pigs in his pen..we we we..PPP took my wife
    Who r u to judge the PPP an it’s supports..

    • Col123

      DP..why don’t you say so in front of Emile’s presence…I bet you do not have the courage..the moderators on this media should receive a better pay check..

  • Col123

    DP…No …Emile is not my protector…but then again, I do not know what the future holds!…you are exhibiting poor upbringing…and I do not think it was your parents fault. Get a grip on life…there are lot of better things in our lives than hate and calling other names.