SOCU Protocol now part of Police Force’s Standing Orders

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 13:20 by Denis Chabrol

Six months after a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) intelligence officer was killed while on a high-speed chase on behalf of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said the long-awaited protocol for the anti-financial crimes unit has been added to the rules of the Guyana Police Force.

Ramjattan told Demerara Waves Online News said the SOCU Protocol would be numbered 54 (a) of the Standing Orders. The minister said the operational rules governing SOCU would be made public and also shared with Shadow Public Security, Clement Rohee. “If there is going to be anybody with any better ideas about what will work, I can probably make further amendments; it all depends on how that unit evolves,” he said.

Persaud told Demerara Waves Online News on Tuesday that the GPF’s Standing Orders have since been amended to include the SOCU Protocol. “The proposed amendment to the Standing Orders to include the operations of SOCU has been approved,” he said.

SOCU’s Head, Assistant Commissioner Sydney James has been already instructed to operate in accordance with the protocol even while it was in its draft stage.

Late GDF Intelligence Officer, Robert Pyle.

Late GDF Intelligence Officer, Robert Pyle.

GDF  Intelligence Officer, Sergeant Nigel Pyle and his wife, Stacy, were killed on December 30, 2015 on Carifesta Avenue while on a high-speed chase of a number of persons who had entered a car next to the residence of then Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington.  While the GDF had said several days later that Pyle had been on an official mission, sources had told Demerara Waves Online News that he had provided assistance to SOCU unofficially.

The protocol has been also reviewed by the National Security Committee and he wider Cabinet before it was dispatched to Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud.

Meanwhile, the Public Security Minister dismissed claims by the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) that the Executive has delivered a list of persons to SOCU whose properties and banks accounts should be searched. “It’s absolutely untrue! It is those persons who the Financial Intelligence Unit would have indicated doing suspicions and based on those suspicions we then do our arrangements and investigations and so on,” he said.

Ramjattan vowed that government was prepared to defend  FIU and SOCU in court if former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affair, Anil Nandlall decides to cite harassment before a judge. “Let them go and we will defend it by showing the court all that were the suspicions and even some of the findings that we made after they were investigate it,” he said.

The PPP has accused government of centrally directing SOCU and the State Asset Recovery Unit (SARU) in seeking High Court orders to instruct commercial banks to release account details for several former PPPC government ministers.