Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Top Cop welcomes foreign investigators for DSS probe

File photo: Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith

File photo: Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to bring in British and Barbados police officers to assist in the investigations into the seizure and subsequent disappearance of $22 million in cash, which had been found in a house at Kathleen Warner Drive, La Horquetta, on September 22.

In a statement on Friday, Griffith said these foreign officers would not be consultants, but would be sworn in as Special Reserve Police Officers and would have the powers of the officers of the TTPS to assist in this investigation.

The Prime Minister said on Thursday night that he had contacted the British and Barbados Governments seeking advice on how the matter should be handled. The Prime Minister is awaiting the arrival of the foreign investigators.

In response to this decision, the commissioner said sourcing of foreign officers will be instrumental to assist the TTPS in this investigation which involves senior officers as well as members of the Defence Force.

Commissioner Griffith noted that on several occasions, there were reports that police officers were interfering and preventing the matter from being thoroughly investigated.

The CoP pointed out that four officers were suspended and 11 others transferred, and added there is the possibility that other officers could be suspended as the investigation progresses.

He said: "This matter has gone very deep and if we can get that international assistance, because I have Trojan horses, and it goes very high up. So if this is an avenue that can assist me in bringing possible perpetrators to justice, especially those in uniform, I welcome that decision."

Griffith said having external investigators could ensure a strong degree of transparency.

The top cop said he had selected a special team of police officers whom he can trust to work alongside the international investigators to deal with any possible rogue elements in the TTPS, and also to pinpoint persons outside the police service who may be committing serious criminal activity by this system which is being used.

A police-led operation at a house in La Horquetta resulted in the seizure of $22 million in cash. The money was taken from the house to the La Horquetta Police Station to be counted. During the early hours of the following day, the money was handed back to a man who has been described as the founder of the DSS – commonly referred to as “Drugs Sou Sou”.

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