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Just weeks after the first 'tape-gate' episode, a new tape containing four telephone conversations surfaced yesterday raising questions as to who has the capacity and the wherewithal to tap telephones.

As in the first tape, the voices at the two ends of the line in all of the conversations are recorded at different volume levels, indicating that the taping took place at the end that sounds clearer and louder.

An attorney-at-law delivered the recording, in CD format, to this newspaper yesterday. Purportedly, the conversations are between Commis-sioner of Police Winston Felix and four different persons. The 41-minute long tape has work-related and personal conversations.

Attempts to get a comment on the new tape from the police yesterday proved futile. Calls to both the Police Public Relations Office and to Deputy Commissioner Henry Greene were unsuccessful.

In one section of the tape, there is a conversation between two male voices discussing the planned detention of a woman scheduled to depart Guyana via the airport. This move seemed to be a part of a wider investigation involving several other persons. On the recording the voices are enquiring about flight times and other information with a view to intercepting the woman at the airport, even if it meant planting drugs on her.

Both of the voices said that they had an interest in keeping the woman on these shores. One of the voices clearly said: "We gon put drugs pon she and search she bags and the other check-in pieces."

Other sections of the tape revealed shocking conversations between a male and female on past sexual rendezvous and plans for future meetings of a similar nature. And the conversations were peppered with expletives and coarse sexual language.

On March 20, a taped conversation purportedly between Felix and attorney-at-law and PNCR executive member, Basil Williams was anonymously dropped off at several media houses and it immediately raised questions about security implications.

The conversation dealt with several issues including a detailed discussion on the Agricola killings and the response time of the police to the crime scene. It also addressed the private sector's view on the response time and a call from a minister on the shootings after they started. The conversation also mentioned in passing the Ronald Waddell killing, the Shaka Blair shooting in Buxton, the upcoming elections and what would happen if the deadline could not be met and the alleged staged kidnapping of Sean Belfield's daughter.

The conversation opened with a discussion of the settlement of a libel matter and continued onto a meeting to be held with someone described as No.1.

Contacted for a comment on that first tape, Felix had said that he did not accept that the voice was his. Williams had also said the same thing, referring to it as the "alleged" conversation.

The commissioner had said he was questioning the authenticity of the tape, since if the voice was his, then a serious security breach would have been committed as persons would have had to bug his phone, but the commissioner said he would not address that issue since the voice was not his.

He had asked that the author of the tape come forward and prove that the voice on the tape was indeed his. That tape had been sent to the FBI for a voice analysis to be done. There has been no further word on it to date.

Meanwhile, Stabroek News understands that copies of the latest tape were not being sent only to the media, but the government, several civil society organisations including the Private Sector Commission and to members of the diplomatic corps.

The distribution of the first tape came amid a robust police/army operation to recover high-powered weapons stolen from army headquarters. During this exercise several prominent businesses were searched.

Almost four years ago during the Good Hope, East Coast Demerara arms seizure the army intercepted sophisticated electronic equipment capable of detecting telephonic conversations.

The use of the equipment remained a mystery. Three men including businessman Roger Khan were charged in this matter but the case was thrown out at the magistrate's court. It was never made clear what became of the electronic equipment after then.

The equipment was to have been confiscated by the state but many inquiries thereafter by Stabroek News of the police and the government failed to provide an answer. It raises the possibility that the equipment is still in use.

Stabroek News