Ministers differ on leave for former SWAT boss

first_imgAlcohol smuggling – but Ramjattan backs downWhile he is not in agreement with Citizenship Minister Winston Felix’s decision to have former SWAT Commander Motie Dookie sent on leave; Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan is refusing to touch on the issue.Former SWAT Commander Motie DookieThis position was taken by Ramjattan during an Alliance For Change press conference on Friday. He noted that at present, he is trying to appraise himself on the matter. However, he observed that to all intents and purposes, Felix’s decision, taken a few days ago, while acting as Public Security Minister, was a legitimate one.“I didn’t touch it,” Ramjattan said, on disciplining Dookie, “I said wait until the Police Service Commission (comes into effect). But in my absence, he (Felix), touched it. And he was performing the functions of Public Security Minister. Just like when Ramnarine was performing the functions of Commissioner, he promoted a couple people.”“And the Seelall (Persaud) came and… no, I had to restore it. Because when you’re performing you can do it. And it is valid and legitimate and legal. But I’ll be taking a look at (it). And I’m trying to advise myself on it. Because a number of people have called me, well the man going to get free salary and isn’t doing anything.”Leadership of the forceHe noted that when one is sent on special leave in the interest of the public, they receive their full pay. This is versus them being transferred to another section. Ramjattan admitted that he would have preferred the former SWAT commander to remain working on the job.Ramjattan made it pellucid, however, that he was not going to amplify a disagreement with a fellow Cabinet colleague. He also noted the need for the Force to retain senior officers, as the leadership is a limited one.“It’s a matter of opinion and an opinion was given and a decision made. And I am not going to go and do all kinds of disagreements with my fellow colleague Cabinet member. And I am not going to also go and attack other senior members who have also done somethings.”“Because we need senior members in the Police Force to manage it, notwithstanding their indiscretions,” Ramjattan said. “A number of people, the Commissioner has said, have been removed through retirement. So upon are left with a leadership that has risen to the (rank) of Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, that is very limited.”Ramjattan noted that while the argument can be made about the inconsistencies regarding the removal of delinquent senior officers; Ramjattan stated that he is “not going to remove the other seven or eight of them.”Earlier this year, Dookie was removed from his post as SWAT Unit Commander, pending the outcome of an investigation into alcohol smuggling. At that time, the former SWAT Head had only been at his appointed post for three months following the dismissal of his predecessor, Deputy Superintendent Lonsdale Withrite. According to information at the time, on December 31, 2017, Dookie was taken into Police custody at the Whim Police Station and placed under close arrest after 30 cases of illegal whiskey was discovered in a vehicle in which he was travelling.The discovery was made when officers stopped the minibus on the Whim Public Road, Corentyne, Berbice, to conduct a routine search.Dookie reportedly told the Police that there were only 10 cases of whiskey but a search later unveiled that there were actually 30 cases.It is understood that on Tuesday last, a directive was made by a Government Minister to have Dookie sent on “special leave” with pay. That Minister was later revealed to be Felix, at the time acting in lieu of Ramjattan, who was overseas.Less than two weeks ago, although the investigation was ongoing into the smuggling allegation, Dookie was posted to A Division (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara) as one of the five Sub Divisional Officers.last_img read more