A 25-year-old University of Guyana (UG) student was on Monday, February 11, 2019 arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for allegedly issuing bomb threats towards the university.
Sheneza Jafferally, called Diane, of Cummingslodge, East Coast Demerara, who is employed at Yello Guyana Inc. as a sale representative, pleaded not guilty to the charge of misuse of a telecommunication device.
Particulars of the charge alleged that on February 5, 2019 at Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara, Jafferally, sent by means of a public telecommunication device system, for the purpose of causing needless anxiety to the staff and students of the UG, a message which she knows to be false.
Jafferally’s attorney, Latchmi Rahamat made an application for bail on the grounds that her client was kept by the police beyond the 72 hours.
Rahamat argued that Jafferally denied the allegation when it was put to her by the police.
“There is no evidence that shows that my client made any threats to the University of Guyana” the attorney stressed.
Additionally, Jafferally’s cell phone and all the electronics in her Cummingslodge home was confiscated by the police
Police Prosecutor, Inspector Gordon Mansfield, objected to Jafferally being granted her pre-trial liberty since he intended to spread public terror and the seriousness of the charge.
The prosecutor told the court that another allegation, similar in nature is currently being investigated against Jafferally.
The Chief Magistrate, on the grounds of Public safety remanded Jafferally to prison until February 18, 2019.
On February 5 and 6, 2019, bomb threats were reportedly made to the university’s Turkeyen Campus, forcing the cancellation of classes. Classes are expected to resume today.
The Police Force, through its commissioner, deputy crime chief and a team of officers, met with members of the UG administration and days later arrested UG student, Jafferally.
According to a source, based on the investigations conducted by the police, a telephone number belonging to the student is linked to the number from which the bomb threats allegedly were made to the university.
Jafferally, who goes by the nickname ‘Shelly’, is the niece of former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Region Six Member of Parliament (MP) and current Region Five Campaign Manager Faizal Jafferally.
The university’s administration following the scares had shut its doors. The threats came even as a string of online threats directed at several city schools have been ongoing for weeks.
These threats were initially made against the School of the Nations, and resulted in the school’s director being shot in both arms while he was entering his home.
The threats to the university were taken seriously as students and staff evacuated campus, while a $1M reward has been offered, for anyone with information regarding the threats made to School of the Nations.
The charge filed against Jafferally comes under the Telecommunications Act of Guyana and states, that a person found guilty for false or dangerous telecommunications can be liable on summary conviction to up to $2M in fines and six months imprisonment.