GEORGETOWN –– Assistant Superintendent of Police Terrence Browne has been transferred with immediate effect from the division to police headquarters, as the force’s Police Office Of Professional Responsibility investigates an alleged corrupt transaction. The transaction involves a number of police ranks and it follows the seizure of a quantity of cocaine from a minibus travelling along the Corentyne Highway, a little over two weeks ago.
Information reaching Kaieteur News indicates that one officer and four junior ranks accepted a large sum of money to forego prosecuting the cocaine traffickers.
The other ranks, a subordinate officer and three constables, including one female are under close arrest as the investigations continue.
Kaieteur News understands that while two ranks have reportedly confessed to the scheme, the others involved are maintaining their innocence.
It is alleged that the ranks were on roadblock duties at Whim on the Corentyne Coast when they stopped a minibus that was transporting a large quantity of cocaine reportedly worth a whopping $18 million, along with an undisclosed quantity of cash.
According to information, the police had been tipped off about the vehicle, which would usually ferry large quantities of cocaine, guns and cash along the Corentyne Highway.
Three persons were in the bus at the time and they were detained. But instead of taking them into the police station, the ranks began negotiating with the suspects.
Initially a sum of $2 million was offered on the spot, but this was refused by the ranks.
A source in Berbice told Kaieteur News that after intercepting the cocaine, the ranks drove to the nearby police station where they dropped off a female colleague who was with them.
Following further negotiations a deal of $6 million was agreed. Once the money was handed over, the ranks allowed the occupants of the bus to go with their drugs onwards to neighbouring Suriname.
They then returned to the station where they split up the cash, giving a portion to the officer as “hush money”.
There are varying accounts of how the matter came out. According to one source one of the ranks on the patrol was not satisfied with the amount of money that he received and decided to squeal.
Another version is that after word of the transaction began to float around, a rank who heard of it contacted the acting commander, who immediately launched an investigation and ordered that the ranks be placed under close arrest.
Yet another version is that the informant who had tipped off the police was promised $300,000. However, after the deal was done the informant did not get the promised amount and he spilled the beans.
Kaieteur News understands that investigators are monitoring two known local drug dealers who they say were involved in the transaction.
A police source said that it was unlikely any charges would be laid against the drug pushers, since there would be no physical evidence to link them with what transpired at the roadblock.