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Friday, March 31, 2006
Khan, others decline police's 'invitation'
Stabroek News
Ricardo Rodrigues

The four men for whom the police issued wanted bulletins on Wednesday in connection with illegal items found during recent raids have, through their lawyers, declined "any invitation to go to any police station."

They have also challenged the police's authority to issue a bulletin for them for questioning and are demanding the withdrawal of the bulletin and an apology.

The lawyers said their clients have no confidence in the police force and that they are fearful that the force would violate their legal rights.

In a letter to Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix, which was also sent to this newspaper, Attorneys-at-law Vic Puran and Glen Hanoman, said they were retained by Paul Rodrigues, Roger Khan, Gerald Pereira and Ricardo Rodrigues.

The lawyers said it had come to their clients' attention that the force, "purported to issue a wanted bulletin for questioning in relation to them.

"It seems that it has escaped your notice that the Guyana Police Force has no power to issue a wanted bulletin for questioning," the letter to the commissioner said.

Stabroek News attempted to get a comment from Commissioner Felix but was unsuccessful.

However, a legal expert told this newspaper that the police can issue bulletins for persons who they wish to contact or have an interest in.

In the bulletin, the police said the men were wanted for questioning in connection with investigations into the discovery of guns, ammunition, drugs and other illegal items during a search on March 19.

The joint services conducted massive raids in Georgetown and in its environs over the weekend of March 18 and 19, in an attempt to recover the 33 AK 47s that disappeared from Camp Ayanganna. A number of businesses and buildings connected to businessman Khan had been searched.

The police release listed the wanted men as Paul Rodrigues, an ex-policeman whose address was given as 29 Dadanawa Street, Section 'K' Campbellville; Ricardo Rodrigues, of Bel Air Springs; Shaeed Khan also known as Roger Khan of 133 Rotunda Place D'Aguiar's Park, Houston and Gerald Pereira of 86 Lamaha Springs, Georgetown.

The letter from the lawyers said that they have instructed their clients to demand, "…and we hereby do, that you immediately withdraw the purported wanted bulletin, tender an apology and limit your actions to the confines of the law."

The letter continued: "Please be advised that our clients decline any invitation to go to any police station. We are instructed to inform you that our clients have no confidence in you or the Guyana Police Force under your command…"

The lawyers said that should the force have sufficient evidence to charge the men with any offence then the force should do so and they (the lawyers) would ensure that their clients appear in court.

Among the places searched by the police during the raids were Blue Iguana; the Reef Club; a five-storey building in Station Street, Kitty (an unfinished structure where three floors are being occupied); the Dream Works office in Garnett Street; the Master's Touch Carpeting business at Second Street, Bel Air Village; Khan's home at 133 Rotunda Place, D'Aguiar's Park, Houston; Avalanche Club; and Buddy's Night Club. Additionally, a search team was deployed to Kaow Island in the Essequibo River.

During the searches a number of items were seized including seven handguns, two pellet guns, two pistol magazines with three live 9mm rounds, four heavily tinted vehicles, including an F 150 bullet-proof pick-up, seven hand-held radios, three mobile three mobile telephones, 41 small containers with cocaine and one Guyana passport. Also found were; a quantity of live and blank ammunition, four AK-47 magazines, a quantity of ammunition were seized, a quantity of police uniforms was discovered, a motor vehicle of interest to the security forces, a quantity of military uniforms.