Police Corruption


March 2011, Kingston, Jamaica

Presentation by Chandra Algoe LLM

Policy Advisor on Drugs Related Matters

Policy Coordinator on Intellectual Property

Coordinator Division International Relations

Government Expert on Drugs and Crime

Ministry of Justice and Police; Suriname

The Republic of Suriname with capital Paramaribo is a Constitutional Democracy.

It has a population of 509,970 on an area of 63,037 square miles.

Official language is Dutch, but Sranang Tongo

(Creole), Hindustani, Javanese, Chinese and English are spoken together with 15 other languages.

Literacy is over 90%.

 Suriname has been independent since November

25, 1975.

Since independence, the country has experienced coups and political warfare. Civilian government was often replaced by military government.

The economy is highly regulated — the Doing

Business Report 2011 ranked Suriname 146 th out of 181 economies.

The overall freedom to conduct a business is very limited under Suriname's regulatory environment.

 Starting a business takes 694 days (Doing Business

Report 2011), compared to the world average of 38 days. We are the slowest.

 Obtaining a business license takes much more than the world average of 225 days. Bankruptcy proceedings are difficult and often prolonged

(Business Freedom Index).

 Suriname’s economic freedom score is 53.1, making its economy the 129 th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score is 0.6 points higher than last year, reflecting gains in four of the ten economic freedoms.

 Suriname is ranked 22 nd out of 29 countries in the

South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is lower than the world and regional averages (Economic Freedom Index).

 Suriname ranked 75 th out of 180 countries in the

Transparency International Corruption Perception Index

(CPI) for 2009.

 The 2010 CPI covers two countries fewer than last year’s edition. The slight change resulted from individual sources adjusting the range of countries they assess. These adjustments in coverage made it possible to include Kosovo for the first time, but led to the exclusion of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the

Grenadines, and Suriname, for which only two sources of information were available that year.

Criminal Code of Suriname 1972 (last amended in


Personnel Code 1962 (last amended in 1994).

Act on Money Laundering (2002).

Act on Reporting Unusual Transactions (2002).

Act on Witness Protection and Whistleblowers


Act on Anti-Narcotics (1999).

The Proceeds of Crime Act (2002).

T he Inter-American Convention Against Corruption on (March 29, 1996).

Report Berenschot; Integrity of the Government


Sector Study Governance in Suriname; April 2001

Draft Anti-Corruption Act (2001) was made compliant with the OAS Convention Against

Corruption and was presented and commented by

Parliament, 2008; Second Anti-Corruption Act presented to Parliament, 2009.

Signed and ratified the Inter American Convention against Corruption .

The objectives of this Convention are to:

 Promote and strengthen the development by each of the States Parties of the mechanisms needed to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption

 Promote, facilitate and regulate cooperation among the

States Parties to ensure the effectiveness of the measures and actions to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption in the performance of public functions and acts of corruption specifically related to such performance.

Fighting corruption and bringing officials to justice is one of the priorities of the government.

The former Minister of Natural Resources was sentenced to 1 year for forgery in November 2003.

The Minister of Public Works was sentenced to 2 years for fraudulent matters in 2008.

 The Minister of Trade and Industry was sentenced to 1 year for fraud and money laundering on May 5,

2009. The case is currently being appealed.

An Anti-Corruption Desk was installed at the Attorney

General’s Office and every 2 weeks the Chief of Police has a meeting with the Attorney General to discuss cases of policemen who committed offenses. Small cases can be handled disciplinary.

A Special Prosecutor is assigned to handle offences committed by the military.

The UNDP contracted a consultant to prepare a project document “Support for implementing the Policy Plan for Protection of Legal Rights and Safety- Legal

Protection and Human Rights and Anti-Corruption


Together with the UNDP as a technical partner, the focus of this project board is placed on enhancement of the:

 Awareness under government/public officials and the private sector on the attraction of corruption;

 “Corruption prevention policy” of the Government of the Republic Suriname.

 In June 2010 the workshop with stakeholders was held in order to formulate Suriname’s “Plan of


 Baseline study on Corruption – Prevention in


 Formulate a national corruption prevention strategy and strategic plan;

 Formalize the Steering Committee for

Corruption – Prevention;

 Create awareness in the society;

 Approve the Anti-Corruption Act;

Training of public service providers such as

Customs, Central Bureau for Civil

Registration, Surinamese Police Corps,

Department of Alien Affairs, Service of the domains etc.;

Media communication campaign for private service providers such as public notaries, merchants, exporters and importers;

Sessions at political office bearers such as the district council and resort council .

The government needs to focus on increasing the probability that corruption will be detected and punished appropriately. This implies a need to increase transparency and accountability.

Political parties are formed through ethnic lines. The winning party not only appoints a

Minister from their ethnic group, but will replace existing staff members with individuals from the same ethnic group e.g. the Military Commander and the Chief of


 Officials who get low wages are vulnerable to corruption. (Dec. 2010, Jan. 2011; extortion by police officers in case of traffic violation).

Anti-corruption monitoring groups or commissions.

Enforce existing anti-bribery legislation.

Stop ethnic politics and ethnic thinking.

 The Anti-Corruption Act is not in place yet.

Suriname must approve the Anti-Corruption Act without further delay.

 Corruption undermines the credibility and discipline of state organizations, thereby weakening their performance and ability to enforce regulations in key areas, such as law enforcement.

Proposal of the government to have an Integrity

Test for every department of the police and the custom was rejected earlier but should be reconsidered.

Preparation of the installation of a Corruption

Prevention Commission on short notice to control, protect and create awareness.

 The UK NIM is universally accepted and categorises crime (in this case corruption) into three levels:

Level 1 Local

Level 2 Cross Border

Level 3 Transnational

Level 3 corruption involves serious and organized crime on a regional and international level.

After consultation with several regional law enforcement agencies, it appears that corrupt lower ranked police officers are involved in level 3 corruption as opposed to the police high command. This is against conventional thinking.

In August 2009, 93 kg of confiscated cocaine disappeared from the depot of the A-Team.

There was no forced entry and the surveillance camera was out of order.

 Introduction of an Integrity Investigation; The supervisors failed the lie detector test and were transferred.

 The case remained unsolved until August


Because of his spending pattern 1 police officer was arrested (buying of heavy equipment) and afterwards several civilians were arrested.

Approaching of civilians to smuggle the cocaine to Europe (Holland).

The case is currently handled by the court.

This case brought a severe blow to the image of the Surinamese Police Corps.

• Operation Guard Shack

October 6, 2010

Biggest crackdown on police corruption in FBI history

133 individuals charged with drug trafficking charges

 60 – Puerto Rico Police Dept.

 16 - Municipal Police Depts.

 12 – Puerto Rico Corrections


 National Guard and Army Soldiers

 Administrative Officials and civilians.

• Unprecedented scope,

750 FBI personnel flown in to make arrests

• Corrupt law enforcement provided security for drug deals for US$500-US$4500 per transaction

• From July 2008 to Sept.

2008, 125 drug transactions were conducted by the FBI

• Officials operated in small unconnected syndicates and mainly recruited friends and family

• Puerto Rico acts as a major transit for narcotics between

South America and the

Eastern US

• Arrests served as an awakening for police force that already had a reputation for brutality and corruption

• Calls for urgent reform by Government officials

• Arrests deemed to strengthen law enforcement in Puerto


• February 11, 2011

• One of the biggest operations against police corruption in Rio de


• Resulted in the arrest of

32 officers

• Rio police long accused of corruption and covering up brutality

• Investigation s began in

2009 when a planned operation failed due to authorities tipping off drug traffickers.

• The city is attempting to clean itself for the

2014 World Cup and

2016 Olympic Games

• The over 30 officers were allegedly:

– Collaborating with gangs

– Divulging sensitive information

– Stealing and selling drugs, money and confiscated weapons

– Gambling

– Leading militia groups

 The first and second in command were also allegedly involved in corruption.

 The First in Command represented the 4 th

Police Chief to go in the last five years. Two were arrested in suspicion of criminal activity.

Ms. Martha Rocha now 5 th

Police Chief

27 years of service in Civil


Aims to curb drug trafficking and police corruption

“ Attorney General pleased with the

Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau”

• AG Ramlogan proud established committee to root out corruption at state agencies.

Power 102 FM


Trinidad and Tobago

“PM discusses issues of mutual security interests to St. Lucia and the


• Based on discussions the recruited officers will be assigned responsibilities including anti- corruption.

St. Lucia.gov


St. Lucia

SS Council discusses OECS Police

Service and anti-corruption strategies”

• Proposed OECS Police Service and integration of the RSS discussions were underway.

Carib Daily.com


St. Kitts and Nevis

“Massive Police Corruption Uncovered”

• Confidential document leaked pointing to illegal insider trading of state funds within the Royal

Grenada Police Force

“Two VIPD officers charged for extortion, bribery and other charges”







“Police Corruption”

• Deputy Commissioner of Police allegedly collecting allowances for months for which he was not entitled to.

St. Kitts and

Nevis Observer


St. Kitts and Nevis

British Virgin Islands

Secret withdrawal of bribery charges against Barbados cop stinks of corruption at the highest level”

Barbados Free




 “A Police Service in a Mess ”

Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday, 02/12/2007

In 2007, serious allegations of corruption were leveled by a senior member of the First Division

The Superintendent contended that police officers were involved in corruption as well as in the drugs and the arms trade.

The same Superintendent, unconfident in the system , pleaded for Scotland Yard to oversea the investigations of corruption

Witnesses were allegedly afraid to come forward to local authorities


 Similarly, in 1992, a then Assistant Commissioner of Police alleged that there was a drug cartel operating in the Service.

 The then Prime Minister sought the assistance of Scotland

Yard who met great resistance from the Service.

 A number of police officers were charged with various offences.

 After all investigations were concluded:

– All officers were acquitted

– Two senior officers sued the Attorney General and won substantial damages

– Public saw Scotland Yard as a waste of taxpayers money

– Resentment and chaos were the result

Scott Drug Report 1987:

Allegations were made against 52 police officers for involvement in drugs, extra-judicial killings and the dissemination of sensitive information

Testimony was taken in private before the then Chairman and witnesses and underworld characters gave evidence against police officers, mostly from the Flying Squad.

The Results:

 One testimony let the then Commissioner’s credibility in shambles after which he opted for early retirement

 All the members of the Flying Squad were recalled to duty more than two years later

 Some were eventually promoted.

 The Caribbean is viewed as one region despite individual nations

 From a strategic point of view the Caribbean is

America’s third border and gateway to Europe.

 The Caribbean poses threats to these borders and as such it is conceptualized that corruption should be treated on a regional basis.

 Sharing intelligence and methodology

Standardized collation & collection methods

Analysis and dissemination of intelligence to international standards

Established lines of communication via SPOCs

Mutually agreed protocols for primacy and crossover issues

MOUs for asset and resource sharing

Annual conference and biannual forums





Improve facilitation for the sharing of intelligence.

Create a regional medium for networking and sharing of information, training and best practices.

Centralized Analysis

Strategic and tactical informed decision making

Greater collaboration in terms of the regional sharing of intelligence. Support the anti-corruption programmes of law enforcement agencies in the






Easier access to international funding DFID, USAID,

OAS and the CBSI

Greater utilization of CARICOM IMPACS

Greater utilization of the Caribbean Intelligence

Fusion Centre

Utilization of the ‘Jamaican experience’ to assist and support the region in the development of anticorruption strategies, policies, development plans, training and simply sharing best practices.

Thank you