UPP’s Political Leader, Harold Lovell, says he is suprised but finds it strange that neither Prime Minister Gaston Browne nor the Minister of National Security Steadroy Benjamin has made a clear public statement condemning the shooting and expressing empathy and support for Benjamin.
“They have been strangely silent on the matter which begs the question whether they are protecting some person or persons, and if so, who are they shielding?” Lovell asked.
Lovell wrote a letter, dated November 11th 2019, to five key government officials: the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Public Safety Minister, the Acting Commissioner of Police and the Comptroller of Customs.
The Governor General responded to the letter and he’s expected to meet with Lovell this morning to discuss Lovell’s call for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry into the attempted murder of Customs Officer, Cornel Benjamin.
Atlee Rodney, the Acting Commissioner of Police, also responded to Lovell saying the police force is taking the matter very seriously and is utilising all avenues available.
On the other hand, the Comptroller of Customs is yet to provide a response to Lovell’s letter and according to Lovell, “Raju Boddu has shown “extraordinary bad manners and disrespect by failing to even acknowledge the letter that was written to him”.
The UPP leader said Boddu should remember that he is a public servant and “without the support and confidence of the public, he cannot perform his duties effectively”.
He said the UPP will continue to monitor developments at the Customs and Excise Division very closely and “if we conclude the Comptroller of Customs is covering up corruption, we will call for his immediate removal from that position”.
An alleged attempt was made on Cornell Benjamin’s life just over one month ago as two gunmen shot and severely wounded him.
Benjamin, who sustained gun wounds to his leg, is reportedly attached to the customs department responsible for under-evaluation, false invoicing and smuggling.
He is currently receiving medical attention in Jamaica.