No charges laid against prominent businessmen

Stabroek News
May 18, 2001

Charges have not yet been laid against the three prominent businessmen of Buxton who were taken into custody and placed in the lock-ups at Cove and John Police Station on May 5, following an early morning police raid in the village.

The businessmen, whom Commander of `C' Division, Assistant Police Commis-sioner Mohamed Jameer told Stabroek News had been taken into custody to assist in investigations into armed robberies, were each placed on $5,000 station bail.

The men have been reporting continuously at the station since.

The businessmen were released after one of them, 52-year-old Compton Huntley popularly known as `Charlie', the proprietor of the Roger Harper Fan Club on Buxton Public Road, suffered a slight stroke and was taken to the police's doctor at Cove and John for medical treatment.

The other two men were Trevor Barrett, 39, proprietor of the Top End Grocery and Beer Garden at 98 Friendship; and Marlon Amsterdam, popularly known as `Bow' who runs a confectionery, grocery and drinks shop at 52 Friendship (Line Top).

Huntley an ex-paratrooper and the country's first jump master in the Guyana Defence Force, who served from 1974 to 1979 had his Jennings 32 pistol with seven rounds and weapons licence confiscated by the police the same day he was taken into custody. He was not given a receipt for his hand gun.

However, he told Stabroek News that the police at the Vigilance Police Station had told him to uplift the gun on Wednesday afternoon. They told him, Huntley said, that the gun had been taken to ballistic experts in the city to determine the last time a shot had been fired from it. He told Stabroek News that he last fired a shot from the gun about a year ago.

He said that on the morning of his arrest, he had thought that the police were doing a routine check and instead of waiting for a search warrant to be read to him he invited the policemen into his home because he was not guilty of any crime and had nothing to hide.

Huntley, was one of several businessmen in Buxton who had said they were not against protests but were against "the criminal elements" whom they felt had infiltrated the ranks of genuine protestors. Several residents, whose homes had been searched had told Stabroek News that the police had said they were searching for drugs, weapons and persons wanted for various crimes.

Since the arrests of the three men, the police had intensified their patrols in the village.

Meanwhile, the telephone service, which was disrupted in the village about a day after the arrest of the men, has still not been restored. The service was cut when a telephone cable box was destroyed by fire in the area about 25 ft north of the Buxton/Friendship Railway Embankment Road.