August 1 2019
In late 2017, a complaint was filed with the then Commissioner of Police (ag) David Ramnarine, that a specialized computer with software valued over $5M went missing.
However, there seems to be little actions taken to find out what happened.
According to the letter from Special Assistant Commissioner and head of the police’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), dated October 3, 2017, an Acer laptop was issued to a supernumerary superintendent.The computer was subsequently equipped by the British High Commission with IBM software valued at US$25,000 to help SOCU with a higher level of analytical work and for training of other SOCU staffers.
The computer was kept in the possession of the superintendent.
According to James, who is on administrative leave now, on September 27, last he received instructions for the staffer to be relocated to the National Intelligence Centre.The staffer was told to hand over all documents and properties of SOCU.
Later that month, a forensic auditor attempted to use the computer but found no programmes on it.James, in the letter to Ramnarine, said he requested assistance from the police’s Information Technology Department which found that the hard drive had been removed and replaced with another.
James disclosed in the letter that he had asked for an investigation.
SOCU which was handed significant responsibilities in 2015 by the new Coalition Government to investigate corruption in the administrations of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, has been facing pressure over the past year.
It has not been able to secure any convictions despite the high-profile arrests of officials, including former ministers and even Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
The British government which has been lending assistance has severed the contract of Dr. Sam Sittlington, a consultant that was hired to help SOCU build capacity.
Forensic Auditor, Sheronie James, also had her contract ended when questions arose about her qualifications.