– Top Cop says police not at fault for drug convict’s escape
DAYS after self-confessed drug lord Barry Dataram was convicted for cocaine trafficking, it is believed that he fled to neighouring Suriname, but Police Commissioner (ag) David Ramnarine says the Police Force is not to be blamed for his escape.“A lot of collaboration is going on right now, I’ve read statements and seen things in the press; Dataram’s situation is really unfortunate, but not in the sense that law enforcement is indicted. Let’s put this in the proper perspective, we [Guyana Police Force] didn’t grant him [Dataram] bail,” Ramnarine said at a press conference at his office, Eve Leary, Georgetown, on Friday.
President David Granger has since urged members of the local law-enforcement community to work with their counterparts in neighbouring countries and to use every possible legitimate avenue to locate and transport the convicted drug lord back to Guyana. According to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, President Granger said that while he will not lay blame at the feet of any agency or individual, Dataram’s flight from Guyana was something which could have been avoided.
Dataram was charged with his reputed wife, Anjanie Boodnarine, and their friends Trevor Gouveia and Komal Charran, for having 129.23kg of cocaine in their possession on April 16, 2015, for the purpose of trafficking.
However, only Gouveia and Chandan showed up to hear the ruling by Magistrate Judy Latchman recently. Neither Dataram nor his wife was present at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Magistrate Latchman, however, fined the convicted drug lord $164.2M and sentenced him to 60 months imprisonment for being in possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
An arrest warrant was then issued. Dataram, a Guyana-born American, had successfully fought off efforts to extradite him to the United States of America to face drug-smuggling charges.