A 27-year-old Guyanese, Benvolio Francois Caitanya, who is wanted by Interpol for several offences in Canada, was arrested on Thursday afternoon by agents of the Guyana Revenue Authority while attempting to obtain a driver’s licence at the agency’s Camp Street office.
Benvolio Francois Caitanya is wanted in Canada for ‘unauthorised possession of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon, use of firearm during the commission of an indictable offence, discharging a firearm with intent to wound, endanger life, conspiracy to commit murder, occupying a motor vehicle with a firearm, attempted murder and failure to comply.
In September, Benvolio Caitanya was charged along with another man for conspiracy to forge documents and uttering forged documents. The court was told back then that in February and September of this year, the two conspired to forge a driver’s licence in the name of him, Benvolio Valenski. He and his co accused were also charged with forging a Guyana National Identification Card and were also charged with presenting false documents to the Central Immigration and Passport office in order to obtain a new passport under a new name of Roy Anthony Sewnarine.
Benvolio Francois Caitanya was granted bail in the sum of $300,000 while his co accused was granted bail in the sum of $200,000.
However, at the time that he was charged and placed before the court and also had his pre-trial liberty, local law enforcement had not done the due diligence check that would have allowed them to become aware that Benvolio Francois Caitanya was an international fugitive. Benvolio Francois Caitanya is identified on Interpol’s list with Identification Number 175422369 with his birthday listed as December 21, 1991 and Georgetown, Guyana listed as his place of birth.
At the time of his detention, he had in his possession a Canadian Identification Card. He was identified after the systems at the Guyana Revenue Authority picked up that he had been red-flagged by Interpol.
Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Godfrey Statia, confirmed the development and stated that the fugitive was immediately handed over to the police who were informed as soon as the systems picked up the alert. He further stated that the Guyana Revenue Authority does receive alerts from Interpol and the United Nations and those data are immediately entered into the system so that if those persons are encountered, they can be immediately handed over to the relevant authorities.
Sources over at the Guyana Police Force confirmed that Benvolio Francois Caitanya is in the custody of the Criminal Investigations Department and is being processed. Up to press time, it was unclear if the Canadian High Commission, locally, was briefed about the development.