Some businessmen using police as enforcers
- says stolen truck should be in police custody
December 20, 2006
Attorney-at-law Khemraj Ramjattan believes that some businessmen are using the police force to do their own enforcing.
Ramjattan was commenting on the lack of police action in the matter involving the larceny of a truck by agents of NM Trucking (Jumbo Jet).
The auto sales agents allegedly stole a truck registered to the Eagle Transportation and General Construction, an entity operated by businessman Umraow, after breaking down the gate to the company's workshop at Parika.
The attorney is maintaining that the agents of NM Trucking (Jumbo Jet) should be charged with larceny and malicious damage to property.
“Most businessmen have this fiefdom, where the police, both senior and junior officers, are facilitating their illegal enforcement,” the attorney told this newspaper.
Kaieteur News understands that Divisional Commander Paul Slowe had instructed police ranks, who went to retrieve the stolen vehicle, to leave it in the possession of the auto sales dealer. The businessman Umraow has written to the Acting Police Commissioner and the Minister of Home Affairs for their intervention in the matter.
He claimed that, on December 9, after the truck was removed from his property, he reported the matter to the police at Leonora.
According to the businessman, the police officers recovered the truck from the auto sales dealer, and were in the process of escorting it to Leonora, pending investigations, when instructions were received to return the vehicle to Jumbo Jet.
“This truck is my company's property. I paid off fully for same since registration was transferred to me over a year ago,” Umraow said in his letter to the Acting Commissioner.
He stated that indeed an outstanding sum of $2.7M is payable to the auto sales dealer, but this sum is conditional upon the dealer transferring registration, to his company's name, of six other pieces of equipment that were purchased.
According to the businessman, he had purchased $100,000M in equipment, which comprised one two-ton road roller; a four-ton road roller; two 22RB draglines; a backhoe, two 215 excavators, and one 211 excavator, along with the truck in question.
He stated that the outstanding amount represents monies due on the equipment.
He stated that his company does not owe any money on the truck that is now in the possession of the auto sales dealer.
According to attorney Ramjattan, many auto sales dealers have been carrying out similar acts without seeking recourse to the law.
He noted that Assistant Commissioner Paul Slowe, who instructed the police to leave the truck in the possession of the dealer, was acting unprofessionally.
“Slowe is unprofessional to the extent that he did not authorise a full investigation with the truck in the police custody. He had already made up his mind. Why doesn't he charge the agents for malicious damage to property?” Ramjattan asked.
This newspaper was told by Assistant Commissioner Slowe that the matter is being investigated.
Acting Commissioner Henry Greene told this newspaper that he saw an article in the newspaper which referred to the matter, and he is seeking further information.
Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Anil Nandalall, who is representing the interest of the auto sales dealer, told this newspaper that there is no issue of Jumbo Jet refusing to hand over the documents to the businessman.
He said that the auto sales dealer had trusted the businessman, since they did not have him sign an agreement of sale, which would have allowed for the repossession of property should there be any default in payment.
“Jumbo wants his money, we do not need the documents. Once he pays the money, he will get his documents,” Nandalall said.