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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Trinidadian David 'Buffy' Millard, who was recently extradited to his home country where he was wanted for murder, spent three years in Guyana under the noses of the law enforcement agencies, where he worked as general manager of a company and was issued a Guyanese passport under another name.

Millard was extradited last week Saturday after it was established he was indeed the man wanted by the Trinidadians.

Two weeks ago during one of their many operations, a joint services team nabbed Millard and a number of other persons at a house in Nandy Park.

According to a joint services source, the man claimed to be a resident of Bartica and said his name was Edmond De Freitas.

Asked how the man could have acquired a passport when he was wanted, the source said the man would have had a birth certificate which would have added legitimacy to his claim of being a Guyanese resident originally from Bartica. It was stated that the man could have used a birth certificate of someone whose name was indeed Edmond De Freitas but who may have died at a young age.

Millard also had two driver's licences, one stating that he was a resident of Bartica and another stating that he was living in Linden.

Serious questions have been raised about how the man could have been operating in the heart of the country without being detected by the law enforcement officers after they had pledged that they would have found him. It was pointed out that the man had a distinctive Trinidadian accent and even though he was operating under the name De Freitas more questions should have been asked. It was suggested that maybe there was a lack of willingness on the part of some law officers to apprehend the man as he would have been spotted from time to time considering the circles in which he moved.

Stabroek News was told that after he was apprehended Millard did not give the police any real information about what he was involved in while here. A prominent attorney, who filed court documents in the name of Edmond De Freitas, challenged his subsequent extradition to his home country. However, the police had no cause to respond to the court papers as they were not extraditing Edmond De Freitas, but rather David 'Buffy' Millard.

Reports indicated that Millard was not only the bodyguard of a well-known Guyanese man but was also the general manager at one time of his Water Street business. This business was searched last week by the joint services.

Since the arrest of Millard, the police and the army have targeted a number of locations associated with the Guyanese man, who had employed Millard. The home of relatives of a female associate of his was raided.

This newspaper was told that the police and the army are interested in speaking with the Guyanese man but will not issue an arrest warrant for him. It was stated that on Tuesday when some persons close to him were arrested the man had rung them. Law enforcement officers took the opportunity to speak to him and he was asked to turn himself in to the police for an interview. He promised he would do so in the company of his lawyer but up to last evening he had failed to do so.

Meanwhile, it is not clear what became of the other persons who were arrested along with Millard at the Nandy Park house, one of whom was another Trinidadian. It is also not clear what became of the items that were seized, which included a number of cellular phones.

Since the February 27 announcement about the missing 30 AK-47s and five pistols, the police and the army have been involved in a number of raids, primarily in the city.

And following the death of Minister Satyadeow Sawh, their mission has been two-fold as they are now also looking for the killers of Sawh, his two siblings and a security guard. They have set up a camp at the back of Buxton and vowed not to leave until they rid the village of criminal elements.

A few weeks ago the army had announced that it had new leads into the disappearance of the weapons following lie detector tests conducted on some army ranks by officers from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Stabroek News was told that some of the ranks failed the test but no one would say how many. However, this newspaper was told that the Warrant Officer, who was among the six ranks who have been confined to Camp Ayanganna since the announcement of the disappearance, was one of the persons who failed the test.

Stabroek News