Guyana's former Assistant Commissioner of Police released on $300,000 bail in fraud probe
The former head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Sydney James.(contributed photo)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Nov 9, CMC – The former head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Sydney James, was released on GUY$300,000 after he surrendered to law enforcement authorities on Monday.

Last Wednesday, the GPF issued a wanted bulletin for James, saying he was being sought in connection with investigations into allegations of fraud and obtaining money by false pretence.

“Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Sydney James is asked to contact the Special Organised Crime Unit…or the nearest police station,” the GPF said in a statement.

James, accompanied by his attorneys, turned himself into police. One of his lawyers, Dexter Todd, said that his client has “absolutely nothing to hide”.

“The police informed Mr James that they are investigating a number of matters and Mr James has said to them very clearly that he is prepared to cooperate and that he is prepared to provide any information needed.

Todd added: “He has maintained that during his time of service as the head of SOCU, that he did so with the highest of integrity and that there was no misdoing on his part.”

James is due to return to the police station on Friday.

The GPF statement last week did not provide details regarding the allegations against James, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Guyana Defence Force before being appointed an Assistant Police Commissioner in 2014 and transferred to head SOCU.

He remained in the post until 2019 when his contract was not renewed by the coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) administration.

Prior to the contract not being renewed, he was sent on administrative leave after a special audit unearthed several instances of mismanagement of funds and falsification of documents at the SOCU.

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