“Paper Shorts” death: No evidence of corrupt practices, no attempt to cover up murder – RSS team

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Ricardo Fagundes, also called “Paper Shorts”

In light of damning allegations against Police to cover up evidence in the murder investigations of Ricardo “Paper Shorts” Fagundes, the Regional Security System (RSS) had pronounced that there is no such evidence to substantiate the claims made by Police Sergeant Dion Bascom.

The Government had solicited the assistance of the Regional Security System (RSS) to investigate the claims made by Bascom via two live broadcasts on his Facebook page after he was busted with cocaine by CANU in a house at Norton Street, Georgetown.

However, the main objectives of the investigation among others were to determine whether there is any evidence to support any wrongdoing by Deputy Superintendent Mitchell Caesar and inspector Nigel Stephens as alleged by Sergeant Dion Bascom.

In this regard, the RSS found that the bribery allegations made by Sergeant Bascom against Caesar and Stephens were hearsay and have no provenance.

The team also found that the two live recordings made by Bascom was in contravention of Section 19 (5) (a) of the Cyber Crime Act No 16 of 2018 of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana where he used a computer system to transmit electronic data with intent to humiliate, harass or cause distress to several senior officers including Mitchell Roach, Chabinauth Singh and Kester Cosbert among others.

The findings also revealed that Bascom was found to be living rent-free in a furnished property in Essequibo belonging to a prominent businessman and gold dealer.

As was previously reported, the team also found that Bascom was working as a personal security officer for the said Essequibo businessman without the consent of the Commissioner of Police (COP).

This was in clear violation under Section 31 (1) which prohibits any rank from holding any other office or employment for hire or gain.

With respect to leaking information to the media, the RSS found that there is evidence that Bascom contacted the media where he released information regarding the murder investigation.

With respect to the cover-up allegations, the RSS found that there is evidence that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has diligently sought Regional and International assistance in solving the murder of Fagundes.

In addition, during the investigation it was pointed out that a close associate of Fagundes, who was in his company prior to his death, gave investigative officers inaccurate statements relating to the events on the night of the incident.

The evidence obtained by the investigators revealed these inconsistencies.

“An example of this is the fact that, the close associate said that Fagundes was driving the vehicle on arrival at the location of the incident. However, CCTV records show that the said associate was the one driving. CCTV also show that his description of the movement of the vehicle, whilst in the area, was also inaccurate and he neglected to tell officers about the third person who arrived at the club with them in the vehicle,” the RSS pointed out.

Bascom has also alleged that there was a device in the possession of the Police which identified Mark Richmond’s cell phone as being at the scene of the murder of Fagundes but the GPF’s technical officer ASP Rodwell Sarabo confirmed that the Force does not have any such technology and more so, confirmed that Bascom was never at the crime scene with him.

Further, the findings stated that the Guyana Police Force has done extensive work with regards the murder investigation.

“There is no evidence to suggest that there was any attempt to cover-up this case and there is also no evidence of corrupt practices as alleged by Sgt. Bascom.”

Nevertheless, the RSS also recommended support to the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory from a regional laboratory to assist in analysing some samples of interest related to the investigations.

Meanwhile, investigations both nationally and internationally are actively ongoing to bring this matter to finality.

Bascom, apart from Caesar and Stephens, had implicated prominent businessman, Azruddin Mohamed who has since slapped a $200 million lawsuit on him.

According to the statements of claim, Mohamed is seeking a judgement for damages in excess of $100 million, exemplary, punitive and/or aggravated damages in excess of $100 million and an injunction restraining Bascom or anyone acting on his behalf from repeating the defamatory statements he had made about him.

In addition, Mohamed through his attorney referred to a press conference where certain utterances were made against him and his company.

“These words, statements, and utterances made by the defendant are all untrue, false, dangerous, disingenuous, malicious, irrational, unfair, unsubstantiated, unfounded and baseless, thereby tarnishing and lowering the reputation of the claimant,” the court document stated.

Another person implicated was Mark Richmond, who is expected to file legal proceedings shortly. But according to information received, the latter has an alibi for the night when “Paper Shorts” was gunned down and is available to the detectives.

In addition, Caesar had threatened to take legal actions if the post was not removed and an apology offered.

Ricardo “Paper Shorts” Fagundes was killed execution-style in March 2021 outside a popular Main Street, Georgetown night spot.

Reports are the man was partying with a group of friends at the bar when his phone rang and he exited the club to take the call, but soon after, several gunshots were heard.

Reports are that the now dead man’s friends rushed out to enquire, but found Fagundes lying motionlessly in a pool of blood close to his motor car.