first_imgAs New Year commencesBy Shemuel FanfairOne month after a transfer that saw him answerable to the Commander of A Division (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara), the tenure of replaced Substantive Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum remains uncertain as it was indicated that there was no change in his position.Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine had first tied Blanhum’s transfer to the “arrangements” that were in place for the Christmas season, observing that his “reposting” was not without precedent. Now that 2018 has commenced,Deputy Commander of A Division Wendell BlanhumGuyana Times sought to ascertain whether or not the former Crime Chief’s post was a permanent fixture.In a brief interview with this newspaper on Tuesday, the acting Commissioner was questioned on the status of Blanhum’s position. Ramnarine however opted against offering a direct response on the matter but instead indicated that this position will be maintained for the foreseeable future. “That discussion is not for public domain, not for this time at least,” he told this publication.It was in early December that the acting Top Cop pointed out that Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum was removed from his post, and would act as the Deputy Commander of A Division, under Marlon Chapman.When Blanhum was on his vacation leave, Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Williams who had been recently elevated to Commander of B Division (Berbice) acted as the interim Crime Chief. Ramnarine had announced that Williams would continue to function in the capacity, at the time noting that the change was done to facilitate the Force’s annual Christmas security programme.However, media reports had suggested that Blanhum’s demotion was in keeping with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged plot to assassinate President David Granger. On these claims, Ramnarine had refused to comment.Commissioner of Police (ag), David RamnarineOn March 29, 2017, Andriff Gillard reported to the Police that his friend and neighbour, Nizam Khan, had offered him $7 million to assassinate the President. He said the offer was made during a conversation between Khan and himself after he had approached Khan to borrow $6 million to purchase a property. Following the allegation, President Granger ordered the CoI to investigate the Police investigation of the allegation, and to also make recommendations to address flaws. Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe conducted the CoI and handed the report to President Granger at the end of August.However, when Blanhum had taken the stand at the CoI, he clashed with Commissioner Slowe. It was revealed that Blanhum was the first person to receive information of the alleged plot, and was instructed by Ramnarine to personally oversee the investigation. The Commission found that Blanhum had failed to properly supervise the investigation, and allegedly lied while under oath when he said it was his decision to send Nizam Khan on bail. It was recommended that Blanhum be disciplined for all those infractions.“He was insubordinate when he took a rude, argumentative and aggressive posture at the Commission of Inquiry. He should be disciplined for this. His lack of supervision of this important investigation; his utterances, disrespect and arrogance displayed before the Commission showed that he is incapable of functioning as the Crime Chief, the lead investigator and manager of the major investigating unit of the Guyana Police Force. Blanhum should be replaced as Crime Chief, and reassigned in order to gain command experience,” Slowe had recommended.Blanhum had taken up the reigns as Crime Chief in May 2015 and he had reopened several high-profile cases, such as the execution of fashion designer Trevor Rose; the 1993 murder case of Monica Reece; and the robbery/murder of Sheema Mangar.last_img

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