CGID labels US fugitive Roger Khan the Al Capone of Georgetown

July 1, 2006

For Immediate Release
Press Contact:
Robert Antoine, Director of International Affairs and Communications

Guyana’s President Bharrat Jadeo Roger Khan upon his arrest

CGID labels US fugitive Roger Khan the Al Capone of Georgetown – Says Inquiry
into his criminal network could lead to Guyanese Cabinet officials

The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has welcomed the arrest and arraignment in New York of indicted Guyanese alleged drug baron and death squad mastermind Roger Khan. A statement from the Institute quoted its President, Rickford Burke as saying “CGID welcomes this development. The long arms of US Justice have inevitably touched Roger Khan. He has been a fugitive from US justice who was being harbored by the Guyana government. On April 13, 2006 he was indicted on conspiracy and drug importation charges by a Federal Grand Jury in the US Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. He will now stand trial in a US Court of Law and, if convicted, should receive the maximum penalties allowable by statutes.”

The CGID Head observed “It is believed that Roger Khan is a threat to US national security as well as a clear and present danger to the Guyanese society. The shield of protection and immunities that the Bharrat Jagdeo administration had granted him to carry out his alleged criminal operation, from which the administration itself was an unmistakable beneficiary, has now been obliterated. We commend Surinamese law enforcement authorities for their excellent work in capturing this dangerous fugitive and facilitating his arrest by US Federal law enforcement authorities.”

Burke said “This is a very serious matter. Mr. Khan was apparently the Al Capone of Georgetown. His Attorneys have provided written confirmation of his illegitimate and dubious involvement in extra-judicial activities and unlawful Police functions in Guyana, which purportedly constitute an iniquitous network. There are over four hundred unsolved, uninvestigated murders of African-Guyanese young men and other persons, which the government continues to ignore. Guyana’s Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, said in 2003 that he believed these killings were committed by a “phantom death squad.” It was later alleged that Guyana’s former Minister of National Security, Ronald Gajraj, along with certain known drug dealers and other PPP government officials formed, financed and operated a “death squad” to “eliminate” certain individuals. Like the 400 murders, the government has obdurately refused to investigate this legitimate charge.”

The CGID President disclosed that Khan’s Attorneys appear to have acknowledged in court papers filed in New York Federal Court that Khan illegally bugged and recorded telephones owned or used by Guyana’s Police Commissioner Winston Felix. Burke said it is further alleged that Khan subsequently broadcasted, disseminated and distributed several purported confidential conversations of the Police Commissioner or directed the latter acts, having criminally obtained such recordings, apparently with the knowledge, consent and complicity of PPP government officials. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds then consequently utilized the contents of the said criminally acquire recordings to invoke constitutional procedures for the removal of the Commissioner from office.

Burke slammed the Guyana government saying “In my opinion this was an evil plot that has severely undermined Guyana’s Police Force and the country’s national security. Worst, the PPP government sought to illegitimately involve the resources of the FBI in this “Al Capone like” scheme by requesting the FBI to authenticate the Commissioner’s voice in the recordings. However, to date the government has not asked the FBI to help investigate the mechanism and equipment that was employed to commit this crime,” Burke asserted. Why has the government not expressed concern about this breach of national security? Aren’t President Jagdeo and his Cabinet concerned that their conversations are being tapped as well? Burke questioned.

He observed that both US and Surinamese law enforcement successfully investigated Roger Khan and consequently indicted and or arrested him on arms possession, gun running and drug trafficking charges. But notwithstanding all of this substantial and obvious verification of an apparent criminal operation, the government of Guyana, through Dr. Roger Luncheon, claims to have no knowledge or evidence of the commission of any crimes, although Khan operated right under their noses.

Burke said “the PPP government evidently has an official relationship with Roger Khan and everyone knows this. High ranking government officials have been complicit in and have allegedly benefited from Khan’s alleged crimes. Khans Attorneys on May 10, 2006, issued a written statement claiming that Khan is viewed as someone who has the will and capacity to fight crime and to protect the PPP government against a coup d’etat. So obviously this is someone who is deeply entangled with the PPP government.”

“So the government’s strange actions and stunning silence lead me to conclude that it had knowledge of and consented to Khan’s enterprises as well as his criminal wiretapping of the Police Commissioner’s telephones. This level of criminality is enough reason for the Police and military to keep certain government officials under close surveillance. They pose a danger to the national security apparatus of the State and are placing the lives of law enforcement officials at high risk,” the CGID Head added.

The Institute’s President fired heavy artillery at the Bharrat Jagdeo administration by calling on the US government to conduct a thorough investigation of Khan’s alleged criminal enterprise and hinted that such an investigation could lead all the way to senior members of the Guyanese Cabinet. Burke observed “The arrogance and impunity with which Roger Khan operated, apparently aided and abetted by known PPP government officials, warrant further investigation by US law enforcement authorities.” The CGID Head also suggested that the prospect of such an investigation, which may have already commenced, will petrify certain corrupt members of the Guyanese Cabinet, including President Jagdeo himself, as “the level of corruption, criminal conduct and malfeasance of government officials is revolting and shocking.”

He added “It is a national disgrace that the Guyana government has, in the most unlawful and repugnant manner sought to use criminal materials and information obtained by “the Al Capone of Georgetown” to remove a Police Commissioner from office.” And Burke did not spare the Guyana Police Force any punches. He asserted that “if the Police fails to initiate an immediate investigation into who criminally tapped its Commissioner’s telephone communications and whether anyone in government possessed knowledge of and or authorized the commission of this crime, is an indictment of the entire Force and a reflection of a complete lack of integrity of the institution,” Burke emphasized.” The CGID President called on Guyana’s Police Commissioner Winston Felix to commence an immediate investigation into accusations of murder and drug trafficking by Roger Khan, his criminal association and or collaboration with government functionaries as well as the unlawful wire-tapping of Police telecommunications.”

CGID appears to be pressuring US authorities to go further than their current prosecution of Roger Khan, as its President observed “I hope the US Justice Department will conduct a comprehensive interrogation of Roger Khan, with a view to gathering evidence against those who have condoned his alleged criminal activities or are accomplices to serious crimes and bring them to justice. This should include the forfeiture of properties and bank accounts owned or acquired by such parties or their agents in the US.

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