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SOCU agents get ‘top-up’ under “inherited” special arrangement

FLASH BACK: SOCU investigators at the Guyana Rice Development Board.

Agents of the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) are usually paid a “top up” by the Ministry of Public Security in addition to their salaries that are being paid by the Guyana Police Force, Minister  Khemraj Ramjattan said.

“I understand it not a salary. It is what is called a top-up for working at SOCU and we inherited that arrangement”,” Ramjattan told the House during consideration of the estimates for the 2019 National Budget.

Under questioning by opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) parliamentarian, Juan Edghill, the Public Security Minister said his ministry pays certain retired and current members of the police force an incentive for their expertise and experience in tackling white collar crimes.

“We continued working with this arrangement here and it is an arrangement that attracts certain people with qualification in finance,” he said.

Ramjattan stressed the importance of that special arrangement at SOCU. That unit earlier this year hired nine more agents as it seeks to expand its capacity and were paid from electricity charges.

SOCU collaborates with the Financial Intelligence Unit, Gaming Authority, State Assets Recovery Agency and the Guyana Revenue Authority as well as international agencies in probing financial crimes and related matters.

It is headed by an Assistant Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force.