Rick Wayne’s article entitled Police Moles Targeted! which featured in the 17 October 2015 edition of this newspaper hopefully raised goose bumps all over Saint Lucia. Normally threats against the police are made by criminals who naturally see the police as obstacles in their way, and are often ignored.
In the recently reported instance, the threat came from within the police force itself. As for the conduit, none other than the acting police commissioner. As if that were not serious enough, the commissioner warned one of the targets that his safety could not be guaranteed because some of his colleagues are convinced he had been ratting on them to members of the government. There were references to IMPACS and the so-called task force at the center of it. Especially disturbing is that Rick Wayne’s story, published in the STAR and discussed by the author on TV, has not been challenged by any of the parties mentioned. Not by the commissioner or by the prime minister. Not even by the national security minister.
It may well be that the general public considered the story farfetched. When the host of TALK asked Dr. and Senator Stephen King to comment on the official silence, he said it was possible the government was formulating an appropriate response. There are those who say members of the so-called task force wouldn’t dare carry out their threat now that it has been exposed. We have such short memories. We are talking about trained men and women with guns, who belong to the same organization and often find themselves working side by side on the same team. Now consider the state of mind of these officers with no idea who among them is a spy for politicians. What if one of them has special reason to worry?
In such a situation, as in others, accidents can happen. And have happened. I assure you, this is not just another “story,” to quote Rick Wayne quoting the police commissioner. In 1979, Police Superintendent Alphonse was shot at a late-night bar in Castries. He died a short time afterward in hospital. The murder was pinned on a young escaped convict named Terry James, but many know better, the superintendent’s survivors included. What most ordinary citizens may not realize is that many of us in uniform, in Alphonse’s time and now, have good reason to believe the officer’s death was orchestrated by fellow police officers, for political and other reasons.
At the time of Alphonse’s death the post of commissioner, as well as other senior positions, was up for grabs. As, by the way, is the case today. The brutal truth is that many police officers continue to believe the Alphonse killing was carried out either by a fellow police officer directly, or at his instruction, and pinned on a well-known criminal. It is no rumor, however, that the killer bullet matched a gun handed over to a member of the day’s government during a period of amnesty. The amazing details, for those whose memories need refreshing, can be read in issues of the STAR (1979-80). Even more shocking details can be read in Rick Wayne’s Foolish Virgins, where the author mentions names.
There have also been cases of police officers being shot or injured by their own in circumstances commonly known as “friendly fire.” At least two names immediately spring to mind: the late officer Julian Jn Jacques was paralyzed and forced to spend his remaining years in a wheelchair. Jones Avector (also deceased) spent the later part of his years with a police bullet in his body.
Both shootings were deemed accidents. But some of us know an accident from a targeted shooting. Therefore, the thought of cops gunning down cops is by no means fanciful and ought not to be brushed aside, as it seems has happened despite the acting police commissioner’s warning. In my view the acting commissioner must’ve been especially concerned. Why else would he have divulged as much as he reportedly did? He may even have placed his own life in jeopardy. But just in case some will say Rick Wayne should have kept the commissioner’s word secret, let me inform them that other journalists know of the plot the commissioner referred to. It is my view they have said nothing for political reasons only. The acting commissioner clearly believes the force could explode in a blood bath if certain action is not taken by the authorities, and quickly.
I now wish to address more directly the focus of this article: the report of planted moles in the police force. By all the acting commissioner said, many of his officers believe the moles carry tales to the minister of home affairs and the prime minister. Some believe the alleged spies actually ratted on their colleagues during the IMPACS investigation in their own selfish interest. Writing from an insider’s position, I will refer to the moles as spies selling out their colleagues for reward. They have no regard for truth. Everyone is paranoid.
There can be no doubt that the reported conversation between the acting commissioner and a threatened spy actually took place. The commissioner obviously already had his own suspicions; his meeting with so-called desperate members of the so-called task force only confirmed what he already knew: the existence of political spies on the force.
The confidence with which Rick Wayne delivered his story to his readers and viewers of TALK confirms for me that the commissioner’s meeting with the allegedly threatened suspected mole was clandestinely recorded. In much the same way hundreds of phone conversations among private citizens are recorded and handed over to government politicians. The spies in uniform report every word spoken in police forums, social gatherings and other meetings of the police. This is among the reasons most officers keep their mouths shut, even when they need to speak up in the best interests of self and organization.
On Saturday 31 October 2015, the prime minister addressed the annual RSLPF gazette officers retreat at Palm Haven Hotel. During his angry delivery he recalled the tone of some of the questions put to him during his now famous recent north-south get-together with the police. He also took the opportunity to remind the Palm Haven gathering that he knows everything about the police and would not be worthy of his office if he didn’t. He might just as well have named his spies among us.
I hope that the acting commissioner took special note, keeping in mind his earlier conversation with a suspected political spy. I recall that when the force was under the leadership of Acting Commissioner John Broughton police officers were accused by the then opposition leader of taking money in red envelopes from the visiting president of Taiwan. Mr. Broughton was finally ordered to have his officers return the money. While I won’t get into whether the officers in question had done something wrong (I could argue that they did not) I prefer to ask how Kenny Anthony found out about the red envelopes—if not his police moles planted in his time as prime minister.
The story of a threat against Claudius Francis a few years ago also came from one of the moles. The so-called threat against the security minister, denied by some and then quietly confirmed, also came from a police mole. It didn’t matter that the police commissioner placed no faith in the report, he still agreed to supply Mr. La Corbiniere with several bodyguards, anyway.
Remember Claudius’ recent revelation on his show that the president of the PWA held private meetings with senior officers? It seems to have become a trend; Claudius always claiming several police officers called to pass on information about their colleagues. The fact is his sources are well known to the rest of the organization. Even more interesting would be how his mole got to know about a recent meeting Claudius referred to on his show. Camron Laure did not tell them; the officers who met with Laure did not tell them. Need more proof that the moles causing so much trouble among the officers are encouraged by politicians to spy on their colleagues? These spies have been engaged in their dirty work a long time, even illegally listening in to private cell phone conversations of their own colleagues.
Remember the rumor that was spread around during the 2006 election campaign when Sir John could not remember where he’d parked his vehicle? The rumor was that Sir John was suffering from dementia and had to phone Guy Mayers for assistance. Sir John’s political opposites were repeating what the two men talked about, word for word. Yes, readers, this nasty spying activity has been ongoing for years.
You’d be surprised who some of the moles are that spy on the police. One is currently incarcerated at Borderlais; another is in the police band; one is at immigration and a couple at Central Police Station. Although their activities have been mostly ignored, it seems that for some officers enough is enough. According to what some have claimed, the spying has gotten to a point most damaging to the police force. And yes, the commissioner is right, a few have talked about retaliation. Recently one of the spies described what’s going on like this: “It’s just a game and whoever plays it better, wins.” Wins what? With this player’s win-lose mindset, they are most certainly miscalculating, for it is indeed a deadly game they play—and all games have an end.
To use the prime minister’s own words: “It’s a very small group of officers” who have sold their souls to the devil. They are prepared to sell their brothers and sisters who trust them for 4% of silver (the line is borrowed from a CSA placard). The worst thing about it is that this small group of spies do not see the danger in what they are doing with the encouragement of politicians, both to themselves and to their colleagues. The prime minister was correct when he admitted on 20 August 2013 that “the conduct of this exercise has pitted officer against officer, led to finger-pointing, accusations and counter accusations.” He has made no attempt to end this state of affairs that is killing the force. By saying he knew of a secret police plot to overthrow his government, he is encouraging the distrust that has taken over the force.
Hopefully, the prime minister also knows that if something is not done soon about the unrest inside the force there will be an explosion that will be heard worldwide. Will the prime minister take responsibility for such an eventuality? Or will he once again pass the buck?
He cannot pretend to know what’s happening in the force only when it suits him. Besides, knowing is not enough. It’s time he does something about what he knows is a ticking time bomb!