Guyana asks Caribbean security agency to “assess” ‘Paper Shorts’ murder probe

Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2022, 13:46 by Denis Chabrol

Ricardo Fagundes

President Irfaan Ali on Monday said he has asked the Caribbean Community’s Regional Security System (RSS) to investigate the gunning down of  Ricardo “Paper Shorts” Fagundes outside Palm Court, Georgetown more than one year ago.

Dr. Ali briefly made the disclosure, saying that he asked the RSS for help to conduct the probe and not only the allegations by a police sergeant Dion Bascom that a senior office was paid GY$30 million by the son of a city gold dealer to cover up the killing.

The President told Demerara Waves Online News that the RSS has been tasked to “review and assess all aspects of the investigation so far.” “It is not focusing on the Bascom allegations alone. It is focusing on other aspects,”  he said.

The United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has already been asked to assess evidence in connection with the destruction by fire of car that the assailants allegedly used to flee after riddling Fagundes in March, 2021. The burnt remains of the car was found on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway hours after the slaying of Fagundes, a family-friend of drug convict Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan.  Khan and Fagundes had been socialising at Palm Court moments before tragedy struck.

Sergeant Bascom’s allegations against the senior police officer, the son of the gold miner and a guard working with that businessman have been denied by them and the Guyana Police Force.

However, Sergeant Bascom, through his lawyer, has dared the trio to file defamation lawsuits against him, insisting that his utterances are factual. Bascom made the damning allegations publicly days after he was earlier this month arrested by Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit agents during a drug bust at his friend’s residence. He has not been charged with any drug offence.

Azruddin Mohammed has denied on Social Media playing any role in the killing of Fagundes.

Crime Chief, Deputy Police Commissioner Wendell Blanhum is on record as saying that he was unaware of Mr Bascom levelling corruption allegations against the senior police officer, although that is contained in a statement given to police in February, 2022.

The opposition A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change have issued separate calls for government to conduct an independent probe into the police sergeant’s allegations.