A serving member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) who once served as a prosecutor is accused of conspiring with others to obstruct the course of justice.
Police Sergeant Shawn Gonsalves, 35, a father of three of Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) was arraigned before Magistrate Sunil Scarce at the Diamond/ Golden Grove Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday.
He was released on self-bail.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that between July 23, 2021, and November 27, 2021, at, Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD), he conspired with persons unknown, to obstruct the course of justice, in that, he caused the disappearance or falsely executed two sentence warrants in favour of Vishal Munilall of Houston, EBD. The warrants were issued by Magistrate Annette Singh.
Police ranks in executing the sentence warrants, arrested Vishal Munilall, 34, on November 27, 2021. He was also arrested on allegations that he and another man obtained money by false pretence from another man back in 2017.
As such, he was escorted to the Golden Grove Police Station, EBD. While there, he requested a telephone call to his Attorney-at-Law, which was granted. Shortly after, 25-year-old Kulwantie Munilall, also of Houston, EBD, visited him and give him a package.
Vishal Munilall then requested to speak to the investigating officer, and in the presence of another Policeman, he gave the investigating officer $700,000 to forego investigation/prosecution against him. The ranks immediately told them of the offence committed and cautioned them in accordance with the Judge’s rule.
The following month, Vishal Munilall, Kulwantie Munilall and Dehodary Odit, 26, of Gordon Street, Kitty, Georgetown were charged with the offence of corrupt transaction with an agent and released on bail. Vishal Munilall along with his older brother, Vickram Munilall, 37, was also charged separately with obtaining money by false pretence from a man; bail was granted to them.
Ranks of the Golden Grove Police Station, EBD reportedly give information to Sergeant Gonsalves about investigations into a corrupt transaction with an agent and other offences against Vishal Munilall, Odit, and Kulwantie Munilall.
The prosecution is accusing Sergeant Gonsalves of “ducking” the two sentence warrants in favour of Vishal Munilall to avoid him from being arrested. During investigations, the prosecutor said that Sergeant Gonsalves denied the allegations. However, while under close arrest, he allegedly confessed to a Police Inspector about his involvement in the crime.
As such, a file was prepared and sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice. The DPP recommended that he be charged with the present offence which resulted in him being arrested by his colleagues.
Sergeant Gonsalves, who is being represented by Attorney-at-law Bernard DaSilva, is due back in court on May 5. He has been stripped of prosecutorial duties and is now stationed at the Tactical Services Unit (TSU).