An outspoken overseas based Guyanese, Mr. Rickford Burke, who has long been at loggerheads with Guyana’s ruling PPP/C administration, has been served defendant summons according to the Guyana Police Force, for a series of offenses ranging from cyber crimes to fraud. But Burke tells an entirely different story. He says that agents of the Guyana Police Force attempted to murder him on December 16 while leaving “pieces of paper” on his steps.
Below, we publish both sides of the story in the ongoing saga between Rickford Burke and the Guyana Government.
STATEMENT FROM GUYANA POLICE FORCE
𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝘂𝗴𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗥𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗕𝘂𝗿𝗸𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗗𝗲𝗳𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗦𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘀
On the 3rd December 2021, the Guyana Police Force issued a 𝐖𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧 for Rickford Burke in relation to the following offenses:
• The excitement of hostility or ill-will on the grounds of Race, under the Racial Hostility Act.
• Use of a computer system to coerce and intimidate a person, under the Cyber Crime Act.
• Seditious Libel contrary to common law.
• Seditious Libel under the peace under the Summary Jurisdiction Offenses Act
• Inciting public terror under the Criminal Law Offenses Act
Subsequently, on the 29th day of September 2022, the Guyana Police Force again issued a Wanted Bulletin for Rickford Burke in relation to the offence of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, Contrary to Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act, Chapter 8:01 with regards to the publication of defamatory libel in order to extort money from Afras Mohammed.
Subsequently, on the 18th day of August, 2023, two charges were filed at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court against Rickford Burke for the said offence. However, Rickford Burke who resides in the United States of America, was absent from Court.
As such, the Magistrate ordered that the ‘defendant summons’ be prepared and served on Rickford Burke to attend the Vigilance Magistrate’s court on the 28th day of March 2024. As such, pursuant to the order of the Court, two (2) defendant summons were subsequently prepared and on the 13th day of December, 2023, an Officer of the Guyana Police Force, ASP Rodwell Sarabo left Guyana and travelled to the United States of America with both defendant summons in his possession.
On the 16th December 2023, ASP Rodwell Sarabo met with Mark Wesserman, a Process Server based in the United States of America and they served both defendant summons on Rickford Burke at his home address at Maple Street, Brooklyn, New York. Both defendant summons were read to Rickford Burke and he said he understood.
Finally, the Guyana Police Force wishes to make it known that a similar course of action will be adopted against persons who are outside of the jurisdiction and engage in criminal conduct.
STATEMENT POSTED ON RICKFORD BURKE’S FACEBOOK PAGE
GUYANA POLICE ADMIT ITS ARMED AGENTS HARASSED, STALKED AND BRANDISHED GUNS AT CGID PRESIDENT RICKFORD BURKE AT HIS BROOKLYN N.Y. HOME
– FBI, NYPD INVESTIGATING
Rickford Burke was born in Guyana. He has been living in the US since 1992 in N.Y., but he remains devoted to ending political corruption and racism in Guyana. Mr. Burke is the President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID). From his Brooklyn studios, Mr. Burke publishes a twice-weekly news and opinion talk show on Facebook and YouTube titled “Conversation with Rickford Burke,” protesting what he believes to be corruption inside the current PPP government of Guyana and racist policies and practices.
The PPP government is not happy.
On December 16, 2023, Officer Rodwell Sarabo of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), and an individual identified as Mark Owen Wasserman, while brandishing firearms, trespassed on his Brooklyn residence and accosted him on his steps of his Brooklyn home. It has now been confirmed that the armed men were agents of the despotic PPP government of Guyana, announced that it is imposing fabricated criminal charges against him in Guyana for speech against the PPP government Mr. Burke made in the United States that is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Following Officer Sarabo’s interception of Mr. Burke, the Guyana Police Department issued a statement admitting that Officer Sarabo, is one off the gunmen who acting as an agent for the PPP government, who illegally invaded Mr. Burke’s residence with notice of criminal charges arising from his talk show and also declared that similar charges would be filed against any Guyanese expatriat that spoke disparagingly against the PPP government.
How the PPP government manufactured criminal charges against Mr. Burke for speech that is not only legal in the United States, but also protected by the U.S. Constitution is unclear. What is clear is that on November 8, 2023, the Guyana Police Department clandestinely filed false, malicious, and fraudulent charges against Mr. Burke in the Magistrate Court of Guyana alleging Mr. Burke conspired with others in Guyana, whom he has never met, nor spoken to, to extort GUY $150,000 from Afras Mohamed, owner of BM Soat car dealership.
The charge of extortion was based on Mr. Burke’s and CGID’s allegations of predatory financial practices by Mohamed and his company, followed by demands that the victims of those predatory practices be reimbursed.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department are investigating the gun threats at Mr. Burke’s home.
On Saturday, December 16, 2023, at approximately 10:55 a.m., as he was departing his residence for Church, accompanied by a colleague, Sarabos and Wasserman, both armed with pistols, rushed into Mr. Burke’s fenced yard, and straight up the stairs to the front door where they obstructed his departure from the residence. Sarabo was videotaping while brandishing a firearm.
Wasserman shouted “are you Rickford Burke?,” and attempted to shove unidentified papers in his face. Mr. Burke requested that they leave his property, ignored Wasserman, locked the doors to his home, descended the stairs, exited his yard, and left for church in a waiting vehicle. The two Guyana agents remained in the yard and were later observed rifling through documents and correspondence in Mr. Burke’s mailbox. Tampering with mail is a federal crime in the United States. The matter was reported to the US Postal Police.
Mr. Burke contacted the NYPD. The Police retrieved a document the Guyana agents left on his stairs. Officers from the NYPD determined that the men were agents of the PPP government of Guyana. The NYPD immediately called in the FBI. The FBI presently is investigating whether the government of Guyana has engaged in a transnational effort to repress speech using criminal charges. The NYPD also has engaged the U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
The Guyana Police Force is engaged in egregious lies, serious illegal conduct and fraudulent activities. Mr. Burke was never served with a document, and did not sign for or accept a document. The gunmen left pieces of paper of Mr. Burke’s steps, which were retrieved and taken as evidence by the NYPD.
The Guyana Police Force and Courts of Guyana have no jurisdiction to regulate and police speech of Guyanese in America or to serve criminal charges on anyone in the US.
Mr. Burke has not traveled to Guyana since 1998. Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, who is locked in a war of words with Mr. Burke, in September 2023, boasted that the government will use the Police to go after Mr. Burke, and he will bring down any US politician who defends him.
In 2022, the Attorney General of Guyana, who is under investigation by US Law enforcement for allegedly plotting to have Mr. Burke killed, wrote the US Justice department requesting that Mr. Burke be arrested. The US government rejected his request as a violation of Mr. Burke’s constitutional rights.
Other false and malicious charges fabricated by the PPP government and Guyana Police Force include:
1. Embarrassing Guyana government officials.
2. The excitement of hostility or ill-will on the grounds of Race, under the Racial Hostility Act.
3. Sedition under the Cyber Crime Act.
4. Use of a computer system to coerce and intimidate a person, under the Cyber Crime Act.
5. Seditious Libel contrary to common law.
6. Seditious Libel under the peace under the Summary Jurisdiction Offences Act.
7. Inciting public terror under the Criminal Law Offences Act
CGID strongly condemns this reckless, lawless conduct and act of political vendetta against Mr. Burke. We have written to several US agencies and officials requesting an investigation. Mr. Burke believes that had it not been for the presence of his colleague, the gunmen would have attempted to kill him. Mr. Burke is undeterred and will continue to fearlessly speak out against the corrupt, racist PPP tyranny. We call on all Guyanese to do the same.
This is not a matter
The Law Firm of Hughes Fields and Stobby in collaboration with Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde and Dexter Todd are reviewing this mater and will take legal against the Guyana Police Force in the High Court of Guyana for abusing its powers to repress critical speech against the PPP government, acting outside of its jurisdiction and ultra vires the constitution.
Richard Millington, Esq.
Director of Communications
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)
December 20, 2023