Submitted by CARIBBEAN GUYANA INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY (CGID)
Guyana Police Failed To Disclose Security Guard Who Allegedly Threatened A Government Minister – Served 20 Years in US Prison For Murder, Unlawfully possessed A Firearm & Used Fake Identity
BROOKLYN: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Friday called on Guyana’s Police Commissioner and Minister of National Security to explain how a deportee, who served twenty years in a US jail for murder, was able to secure a police clearance for a security guard license and gun permit with a false identity, in contravention of the Criminal Offences Amendment Act (2002) and the Prevention of Crimes Act (2002)? The security guard in question, Robert Goodluck, is employed by KGM Security Firm, which provides security for Amazonia Mall, Providence Village, Guyana. The mall houses the New Thriving Restaurant and other businesses.
In 1991 Goodluck, whose real name is Robert Wren, was convicted for second degree murder, drug sale and unlawful possession of a firearm, in Brooklyn, New York. He served twenty years in prison from 1991 to 2010. He was paroled in 2010 and deported to Guyana. He has since been operating under the identity of Robert Goodluck, which CGID has labeled identity fraud. The Institute released portions of Goodluck’s (Wren) New York criminal record as well as his Guyana Police Force deportee arrival intake form, to corroborate its contentions.
Goodluck (Wren) and his colleague, Hash Ramroop, were on duty at the New Thriving restaurant parking lot on July 8, 2018 when an armed confrontation broke out with Guyana’s junior Minister of Natural Resources, Simona Bromes. Broomes, who received a number of death threats prior, and her staff were visiting the restaurant for dinner.
The minister’s driver, a police personnel, removed an unattended sign that prohibited parking in the vicinity of the restaurant’s entrance, and attempted to drive Broomes directly to the entrance. Goodluck (Wren), armed with a high-powered assault rifle, rushed up, stopped the minister’s vehicle and replaced the signs. An exchange between the driver and Goodluck (Wren) ensued. Subsequently the minister exited the vehicle and removed the signs for the driver to proceed.
Police were called in and the guards were arrested. Broomes told police, inter alia, that Goodluck (Wren) cocked his gun and threatened her. It is against the law to threaten the President of Guyana or a minister of government. The Minister also told Police she pushed down the signs after Goodluck (Wren) shouted the expletive “F***” the minister. Broomes said the guards followed her into the restaurant where they continued to direct expletives at her. She told Police that Goodluck” (Wren) was so aggressive and reckless that she wondered if he was drunk. She suggested to Police officers at the scene that, because Goodluck (Wren) was armed with such a high powered weapon, they should administer a breathalyzer test to determine if he was intoxicated. Police announced Friday that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) advised that no criminal charges be instituted.
CGID last week criticized the minister for removing the signs; saying it was beneath the dignity of her office and that she should have called in the police to address the situation. The Institute subsequently condemned what it called “orchestrated political, sexist, mean-spirited and defamatory attacks on the minister’s character.” Asserting that CGID is an advocate for fairness and equal treatment for all, the Institute’s President, Rickford Burke, in a statement Friday blasted Guyana’s acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine, for failing to disclose Goodluck’s (Wren) criminal history, which he said is a “material fact” of the case as extant law prohibits the guard from possessing a firearm.
“CGID’s information is that a senior Police officer’s actions potentially prejudiced the investigation in favor of the guards and the owner of KGM Security Firm. The Commissioner and other officers provided multiple statements to the media about the investigation, but failed to disclose Goodluck’s criminal history to the public as well as to the DPP,” Burke said. He also questioned why a top Police official requested the Police file from the minister’s home town of Bartica, where a relative was named in a complaint, and released information on that case to the media. The case was today dismissed by the courts.
“The Police Force should be an unbiased, investigative entity. Suppressing or fabricating facts and evidence and acting in favor of one party in a conflict over the other is corrupt. It poisons the perception of the force as a neutral arm of the state, taints investigations and perverts justice. In a serious investigation involving a minister of government the police cannot act to prejudice public perception of the minister. The law requires the police to conduct a straight, professional investigation and to present the unvarnished facts to the DPP for a determination of criminal charges,” Burke said. He called on Guyana’s President, David Granger, to eliminate unprofessionalism and bias from the Police force. Ramnarine and three other Assistant Commissioners are currently under consideration by President Granger for appointment as substantive Police Commissioner.
“The public does not only deserve to know facts about the minister’s involvement in the incident. We also deserve to know all of the material facts of the case; including the significant fact that the guard involved, who was photographed with a high powered rifle in hand, is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, is a US murder convict and a deportee who is operating under a false identity,” Burke said. He posited that “CGID is not for or against the minister; for or against the guards or for or against the Police. We advocate for the facts, truth, equality and fair treatment of all people, while espousing the fundamental principles of a modern, progressive democratic society.”