AN INVESTIGATION INTO ROGER KHAN’S CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE CAN NO LONGER BE DELAYED--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 5 June 2009




SUMMARY:
• The PNCR takes great pride in the fact that it played the leading role in initiating the process calculated to end the isolation of the Government of Cuba;
• The Commissioner of Police, therefore, does not have to wait on the US authorities to provide information on Khan’s criminal activities in Guyana after his sentencing;
• The global financial and economic crisis continues to play havoc with sections of the Guyanese economy.

MEMBER STATES OF THE OAS MUST BE CONGRATULATED

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) commends the Organisation of American States (OAS), its leadership, and its member states which voted unanimously for the lifting of the suspension of Cuba, on 3 June 2009, at its 39th General Assembly, which was held in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This historic decision paves the way for Cuba to rejoin the American family of nations and signals, in no uncertain terms, the end of the attempts to isolate Havana in this region.

The PNCR takes great pride in the fact that it played the leading role in initiating the process calculated to end the isolation of the Government of Cuba. For it was Mr. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, the then Prime Minister of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, who, in an act of diplomatic prescience, initiated talks, with the Cuban Government in 1971, to establish relations with Guyana and the English-speaking Caribbean. In 1972, in the now memorable assertion of collective sovereignty, the Governments of Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica recognised the Government of Cuba, in a situation that required courage as well as skill. The recognition of Cuba by these main CARICOM States laid the foundation for the establishment of relations with the rest of the Caribbean Community and breached the cordon sanitaire of isolation around Cuba.

Dr. Fidel Castro, who was at the time the Head of the Cuban Government, recognised the importance of the decision taken by the three main CARICOM States in 1972. During the visit of Prime Minister Burnham to Cuba, in 1975, he spoke of the importance of the decision made by these states in the following terms:

“To establish diplomatic relations with Cuba was a challenge to imperialism. However, the Caribbean English-speaking countries made that challenge, specifically, during a meeting of leaders of those countries in Trinidad in October 1972, the prime minister of the Guyanese Cooperation Republic proposed joint establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.”

AN INVESTIGATION INTO ROGER KHAN’S CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE CAN NO LONGER BE DELAYED

The Government and the courts of the United States have determined that Roger Khan was involved in the narco trade in Guyana and was head of a criminal enterprise in this country. This can no longer be denied. The only thing left to be determined is the nature and extent of the involvement of the Jagdeo Administration.

The evidence that has emerged from the court hearings, the information provided by American Government sources, and the revelations by Khan’s lawyers point to the supportive involvement of the Jagdeo Administration. In fact, what now seems beyond dispute is that there was a long association between Roger Khan and the Jagdeo Administration. The facts are irrefutable.

After Roger Khan fled the Unites States, he returned to Guyana and was classified as a “businessman”. He was awarded Government contracts and purchased land which was approved by the Jagdeo Administration. Yet, Dr. Luncheon and President Jagdeo, on different occasions, claimed that they did not know Roger Khan. This strains credulity.

The involvement of the Jagdeo Administration with Khan became clear when Khan was arrested with weapons and the ‘spy’ computer at Good Hope, on 4 December 2002, along with Haroon Yayha and Sean Belfield. The Khan gang was intercepted, by the Military Central Intelligence Division (MCID) of the GDF, in a bullet proof vehicle in which was discovered an arsenal of weaponry (including military type assault weapons, some fitted with night vision telescopic sights), Uzi sub-machine guns, assorted ammunition, silencers, and also bullet proof vests and a lap-top computer cum scanner capable of intercepting both land and cellular telephone calls.

It still remains a mystery, to this day, how Khan could have acquired this array of weapons and equipment without the help of the Government. The item of importance here is the ‘spy’ computer. The MCID was not only pressured to return it to Khan but was disbanded for its pains. Khan escaped justice, as the case against him was dismissed by Magistrate Jerrick Stephaney.

Thereafter, Khan formed his murderous “phantom gang” and they went on the rampage murdering so-called criminals. In a unique development, in Guyana’s post-independence history, an informer, by the name of George Bacchus, linked the sitting Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, to Khan’s activities, including the “phantom gang”.

The PNCR called for an investigation into the activities of the “phantom gang”. The Jagdeo Administration narrowed the issue to whether Minister Gajraj was involved and thereby laid the conditions for his exculpation, by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, in 2004. But Roger Khan was running out of time. The new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Winston Felix, was clearly determined to rid the society of the menace of Khan’s drug running and criminal activities.

Armed with the revelations, in the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of 2006, that Khan was a drug trafficker, Commissioner Felix pursued him. It was while he was being hunted by the security forces that Khan claimed, in full page newspaper advertisement in 2006, that he was working with the Jagdeo Administration and the security forces to “curb crime.”

Khan, the leader of the criminal enterprise in Guyana, fled to Suriname and was caught by the Surinamese police authorities, along with his known associates and a large stock of narcotics. He was deported back to Guyana via Trinidad and Tobago where he was arrested and extradited to the United States. This occurred even while the Jagdeo Administration was clearly seeking to protect Khan by forcing Commissioner Felix from office.

It was during the court hearings in the United States that it was affirmed that Khan was the head of a criminal enterprise and was responsible for the deaths of more than 200 Guyanese. It was in the United States too that it was revealed that the ‘spy’ computer, which the current Commissioner of Police, Mr. Henry Green, claims that to be in his possession, and which President Jagdeo claims might not be the equipment that was seized from Roger Khan, by the MCID, on 4 December 2002, was seized by the United States Government. Now things really turned disruptive and revealing.

Mr. Robert Simels, Khan’s former lawyer, facing charges which include witness tampering, revealed that the ‘spy’ computer was purchased through the Guyana Government which funded the training of Roger Khan, in Guyana, by a representative of the manufacturers, in the use of very specialized equipment. He further alleged that Dr. Leslie Ramsammy was responsible for the collection of the equipment and organising the training of Khan, in the use of the computer.

This is not a narrative for narrative sake. It was done to prove that, at every step of the way, the Jagdeo Administration was either involved in protecting Khan or facilitating his criminal activities. The facts are incontrovertible.

The Commissioner of Police, therefore, does not have to wait on the US authorities to provide information on Khan’s criminal activities in Guyana after his sentencing.

The PNCR expects that there already exists fulsome Guyana Police files which must have been augmented by the evidence from Suriname and that which is now being made available by the court documents from the United States. If that is not so, the Commissioner of Police must inform the nation why Roger Khan’s notorious criminal enterprise in Guyana has not yet been investigated and when such an investigation would be launched.

COST OF LIVING

The global financial and economic crisis continues to play havoc with sections of the Guyanese economy. As a consequence, the Guyanese people, especially our workers, are being hurt by the crisis. Yet the Jagdeo Administration has refused to put measures in place to cope with it and to take a strong position on behalf of the workers.

As the economic meltdown deepens, the BOSAI Company has reduced its workforce by 32.

In the meantime, the attitude of the Jagdeo Administration to the workers, during the recent strike by the workers of the Russian United Company (UC) RUSAL, is downright shameful and anti-working class.

Guyanese may recall that, on 31 March 2006, RUSAL acquired the assets of the Aroaima Mining Company (AMC) and took control of the financial and production activities of the company, including its properties, infrastructure and deposits (with aggregate reserves of 96 million tonnes of bauxite).

Information has reached the PNCR that, during the strike, which was called because the workers were being forced to work under conditions which were in clear violation of the Guyana Occupation Health and Safety and Safety laws and regulations. Nevertheless, severe pressure was brought to bear on the workers, through the instrumentality of the very Government which is obligated to protect the Guyanese workers from such conditions, to end the strike. In fact, it seemed that the Jagdeo Administration, like the colonial Administration of old, took the side of RUSAL, in the dispute with the Guyanese workers. It is, therefore, legitimate to ask whether the Jagdeo Administration made any secret deals with RUSAL that has led to the workers having to labour under conditions which its own Ministry of Labour would classify as sub-standard. In this context, it the obligation of the Administration to state quite clearly what were the terms and conditions under which RUSAL came to Guyana and acquired the operations of the Aroaima Mining Company (AMC). What, for example, were the tax holidays and other concessions granted to this company?

The PNCR wishes to note, at this juncture, that RUSAL sacked 50 workers at the end of 2008. There has been no word on whether these workers had been compensated or whether alternative employment has been created for them.

Information has also reached the PNCR that the Presidential Advisor on Empowerment, Mr. Odinga Lumumba, played the leading role to force the workers to end the strike, without any commitment to correct the unsatisfactory Occupational Health and Safety conditions. Since Mr. Lumumba is not the Chief Labour Officer or an Occupational Health and Safety Officer or Inspector, or is he known to be involved in any of the union activities at RUSAL, the Jagdeo Administration should let the Guyanese nation know what was his official role and status in the negotiations with the representatives of the workers to end the strike at RUSAL.

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 5 June 2009