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Appearance of SOCU under MOTP triggers uproar

 As the considerations of the estimates for Budget 2016 continued on Monday afternoon, there was a brief uproar in the House as the Opposition questioned the appearance of the Special and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) under the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP).

SOCU, is a branch of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) which should appear under the Ministry of Public Security in accordance with the law.
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira raised strenuous objections to the appearance of the law enforcement agency.

She said that the Government must provide an explanation for SOCU’s appearance under the Ministry of the Presidency noting that it contradicted the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill 2015.

“I am asking how is SOCU under the office of the President…SOCU does not belong here,” Teixeira declared.

She questioned whether the government will be making any steps to rectify the issue as is.

State Minister Joseph Harmon in his response stated that SOCU is being transitioned to its legal agency.

Some $40M was budgeted under the line item "Other" for the law enforcement agency.

SOCU was conceptualized and established to investigate suspected money laundering crimes, prosecuting persons suspected of terrorism and financial offences.

  • Emile_Mervin

    This SOCU reveal is a surprise and I am afraid I have to side with Gail et al on this issue. SOCU, which was set up under the PPP and headed by a for army official who was named Assistant COP, was supposed to be under the police commissioner and Ramjattan.

    How and when did it come under the Ministry of the Presidency, and why did Harmon say it was transitioning to its legal agency when it was already under the police force?

    I don’t know if it is arrogance or ignorance on the coaliton’s part to be constantly tripping over itself, but I am going to brutally blunt and say that either the coalition shapes up or it will be shipped out in any future free and fair elections. This Ministry of the Presidency seems to be a government within the coalition government. Is it that APNU does not trust AFC?

    There also seems to be too many cr8me busting agencies. SARU to get back monies and assets stolen by the crooks with cups. SOCU to go after organized crimes. FIU to go after money launderers. And then there is the police’s Major Crimes Unit.