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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Persons detained by Joint Services
again without charge

-wife of Roger Khan speaks out

The Joint Services continued its intense campaign yesterday in the search of the missing army weapons in an operation, which saw women and children associated with embattled businessman Roger Khan detained and items carried away.

Reputed wife of Khan , Ashanti Schultz, told Kaieteur News yesterday that her sister, Alana Schultz, and her two-year-old daughter were bundled into a Joint Services vehicle at 07:00hrs. The vehicle raced off to dispatch them at police headquarters, Eve Leary.

The common-law wife of Sean Belfield, Amanda King, was among several persons detained.

Belfield was with Khan along with Haroon Yayah when they were held by the army at Good Hope in 2002 in connection with weapons and sophisticated computer equipment found in a nearby pick-up.

Another woman and two elderly men were among those placed in the lock-ups at Eve Leary last night.

Attorney-at-law representing Khan's interests, Glenn Hanoman, told Kaieteur News last evening that the woman's young son stood tearfully outside the police compound while his mother was being detained and was clearly traumatised.

He said the Joint Services ranks did not show any pity for the lad's situation, and offered no assistance to ensure that he was looked after while his mother was incarcerated.

Hanoman stated that the two elderly men were picked up at a housing scheme at Farm, East Bank Demerara.

One is a security guard in his 60s.

A statement from the Joint Services said that following leads, their operation moved to Dream Works Housing Development at Farm, East Bank Demerara.

At that location, two persons were detained, and a 17-foot ‘go-fast' boat, a Canter truck, and a small safe were seized.

According to the lawyer, a vehicle with a Dream Works sign was taken away by the ranks and the two men, including the security guard, who were on the location at the time.

He said the boat was previously held by the Joint Services and recently released by the courts.

Ashanti Schultz told this newspaper that Khan currently has nothing to do with the housing scheme, having sold off the houses after construction was completed.

She stated he still has some vehicles parked up there.

Hanoman related that a senior police rank at Eve Leary said the persons detained cannot be released, as permission has to be given by Deputy Police Commissioner Henry Greene, who the senior officer said was not feeling well and had gone home for the day.

The lawyer stated that an army rank at Eve Leary said Lieutenant Colonel Gary Best will get in contact with the police about the two elderly men.

Khan issued a brief statement yesterday through his lawyer, expressing apologies to all persons connected to him and his supporters for the harassment they are experiencing, which are caused by the raids being carried by the Joint Services.

“I urge you to remain steadfast against the Joint Services' abuses and to be vigilant to ensure no AK-47s or any illegal items are planted on anyone's premises,” Khan said through his lawyer.

The Joint Services ranks went to Hibiscus Place , a housing scheme at Blankenburg constructed by Khan, and raided several houses there yesterday.

Ashanti Schultz said she received a call early yesterday morning from her sister who lives at Hibiscus Place .

The Joint Services raid was ongoing at the time and the ranks wanted the combination for a safe that was inside her sister's house.

Ashanti Schultz, who owns the safe, said while talking to her sister, she heard the ranks hollering on her and the phone was abruptly hung up.

She said she was later informed that the ranks had left with her sister and two-year-old baby.

She called around to several places frantically trying to locate her sister and was eventually told that she was taken to Eve Leary.

Upon arriving at Eve Leary, Ashanti Schultz was made to open the safe.

The contents were jewelry and cheques seen by the ranks after which the safe was locked and detained.

A cellular phone and a computer belonging to Alana Schultz were also taken into custody by the ranks.

Ashanti Schultz was one of three persons arrested by the Joint Services in March this year at her home in Eccles.

The three are presently before the courts on the charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

Three .22 rounds were allegedly found at the Eccles house during the raid.

Ashanti Schultz said she was humiliated during the raid, as the ranks strip-searched her while saying they were looking for guns and drugs.

Her jeep which was in a workshop at the time was hauled out by the ranks and detained.

Ashanti Schultz said she has since moved out of her Eccles home and has withdrawn her child from school out of fear that they are being targeted.

She and her brother were locked up for three days in March.

Another sister, Rosanna Alert, was later arrested at the home of their cousin, Paul Rodrigues, when the Joint Services subsequently raided his house.

Rodrigues is one of four men, including Khan, for whom the police issued wanted bulletins.

Ashanti Schultz said the police have seized her daughter's Trinidad and Tobago passport, together with those belonging to Alert and herself.

“I don't know why they are harassing us. Everything is Roger, Roger. What has he done? Persons are being robbed and killed every day. Why are they not going behind those criminals?” she questioned.

Hanoman pointed out that no arrest warrant has been issued by the police for Khan nor has he been charged for any offence.

He said it was disturbing to know that the law enforcement agencies are putting so many resources towards harassing one man and those associated with him, when they have nothing which could make up a charge against the person.

He stated that if the police want somebody in connection with a crime, the first step is to issue an arrest warrant.

He pointed out that the wanted bulletins issued a few months ago for Khan and three others were challenged in court and the judge ruled a nisi order deeming them illegal.

The lawyer noted that the wanted bulletins have since been withdrawn.

The Joint Services have been targeting homes and businesses associated with Khan since the operation began in mid-March.

Among the places raided several times were a sawmilling complex in Kaow Island , the offices of Dream Works and Magic Touch Carpet Cleaners, the homes of Sean Belfield, Paul Rodrigues, Ricardo Rodrigues, and Gerald Pereira, and a house located in D'Aguiar's Park.

Blue Iguana in Alberttown and the Reef in Kitty have also been raided and several times searched, though Khan has no business interests in the establishments.

Kaieteur News