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Oct 15, 2020

ComPol Says Cops were Off Duty on Friday at the Airport with Minister Aragon

What was Minister Elodio Aragon doing at the Philip Goldson International Airport on Friday?  Well, from his account, he was there to pick up an Asian national – a man he says is his friend who he also took to the Radisson Hotel from the P.G.I.A. The man, according to Aragon, was bringing in boxes with masks for law enforcement officers. Several photos circulated on social media showing Aragon as well as his cabinet colleague Erwin Contreras. One photo shows Argon entering the building. Two other persons and some policemen were also seen at the airport with Aragon. Some of the concerns are that Aragon appeared to have crossed the boundary point for someone who is not travelling.  On Tuesday, Commissioner Williams was asked about the minister’s movements at the airport and the involvement of cops. He told reporters that he didn’t see any cops in the photos but that he would seek an answer from the special branch unit that has cops posted at the P.G.I.A.  Today, the press got an update from Williams who says that Aragon’s visitor brought in face masks and that he saw additional photos that show cops in plain clothes who were on special duty.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I haven’t had that chance. I have been extremely busy dealing with this prison break-out. But I have also gathered that indeed the person they went to the airport for was an Asian national. I saw a release that Mr. Aragon sent out where he alluded to that fact that the person brought in some masks and other things that will be donated to the police and other security forces. I had said in my previous interview that from the pictures I received, I didn’t see any police. I only saw two persons – one who was Mr. Aragon’s driver and another person. But yesterday I was sent additional pictures and I saw two police officers in additional pictures that I got. So, I have spoken with those officers and they admit that they went with the minister but one must understand that what happens at the airport doesn’t fall within the realms of the police. The airport is managed by the airport authority and we have B.T.B. personnel who manage the arrivals so they are the ones who are supposed to enforce the protocol as it relates to the international airport. And so the police is not the proper authority to ask if it is that you want to find out why Mr. Aragon and Mr. Contreras were allowed to go beyond the point that the protocol said people should go then I think the proper authority should be the airport authority and B.T.B.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, I think you can speak for your officers who were accompanying these gentlemen? You are the commissioner and the buck stops with you?”

 

Chester Williams

“Did I send them there? I cannot tell you not to go somewhere – you dah wah big man. Once an officer is off duty he is free to do what he wants. I don’t control the private lives of police.”

 

Reporter

“So, you are confirming that these police officers were off duty?”

 

Chester Williams

“Yes, I don’t control the policemen’s lives off duty and even if they are off duty I am not with every policeman to ensure that they are not doing things out of the way. So, how will the buck stop at me? Huh?”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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