PAPER SHORTS EXECUTION: Benn gives seesaw explanation on ‘non-working’ state camera

There is no solid information as to whether the government operated CCTV cameras captured the shooting execution of Ricardo Fagundes on Main Street in the city on the night of March 25th.

Usually reliable sources told this publication that the cameras which are part of the Safe City Monitoring System were not operable at the time. The sources could not say if that meant the cameras were turned off or were down for maintenance.

Fagundes was killed by two men as he left the Palm Court nightclub. CCTV footage, reportedly from that establishment, showed the shooting.

Over the weekend, when we caught up with Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn, he suggested that the government operated cameras at that location could have been down even as he said there is an allegation that the cameras were down.

“That is an allegation,” Benn said when we asked him about the camera in the vicinity of Palm Court, “what I know there are set of cameras, some these cameras come down from time to time or there is a particular loading in respect of the number of cameras which ought to be operational at a particular point in time so I can’t give you a specific answer on that.”

This publication then asked, “Minister I am trying to get from you clearly, if you received any information in respect to why that camera might not have been working,” Minister Benn then said, “No, no specific information, with respect to that, this is normal repair and maintenance issue I believe.”

Fagundes’s associate, convicted drug trafficker Shaheed “Roger” Khan, in calling out what he labelled the police’s slothfulness in addressing the crime referenced videos that showed the vehicle used by the shooters heading to the East Bank Highway without being stopped by the police. This suggested that he had seen the state owned CCTV camera footage.

“Twenty-eight minutes they drove from Palm Court to the most populous and busy highway in Guyana, unencumbered by a single police patrol, even though, even though at the scene police were there harassing witnesses in minutes and there is one State security vehicle that arrived there in seconds, yet no roadblock was erected all the way to decide,” Khan said.

Since Khan’s statement, the police had said that an investigation was ongoing but the police have been mum on the progress of that investigation.

When asked whether the investigation is being treated as drug related, Minister Benn would only say that he knows that an investigation is underway.