As efforts are afoot to locate and transport Barry Dataram back to Guyana to serve his five-year prison sentence, the Guyana Police Force is taking no blame in the absconding of the convicted drug lord.
Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine made it clear that the country’s premier law enforcement agency is in no way responsible for the convicted drug lord’s flight from Guyana.
“Dataram’s situation is really unfortunate but not in the sense that the law enforcement is indicted… Let’s put this thing in the proper perspective, we didn’t grant him bail,” the acting Commissioner posited.
Further asked about the Police’s role in ensuring that Dataram does not flee the country by employing more caution given the serious nature of the offence, Ramnarine made it pellucid to reporters that, “if it was that high profile a matter, it (should have been) properly regarded by the appropriate people… We were not the ones who granted him bail!”
Nevertheless, the Top Cop noted that the Force is in contact with sister agencies in South America and the Caribbean in efforts to locate Dataram. “A lot of collaborations are going on right now… There are a lot of collaborations going on, the nature of which I wouldn’t be at liberty to disclose but I am aware of a lot of collaboration that is ongoing,” he stated.
These comments come one day after President David Granger posited that Dataram’s flight from Guyana was something which could have been avoided. While he will not lay blame at the feet of any agency or individual, the Head of State did urge local law enforcement agencies to use every possible legitimate avenue to locate the convicted drug trafficker and have him transported back to Guyana.
Dataram and his reputed wife, Anjanie Boodnarine, along two others – Komal Charran and Trevor Gouveia – were charged jointly for being in possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.
However, days before the ruling; Dataram, who was previously granted High Court bail, and his reputed wife reportedly fled the country. After the couple failed to attend court on the previous scheduled days of sentencing (September 20 and September 23, 2016), presiding Magistrate Judy Lactchman issued arrest warrants for them and noted that she will proceed with her ruling in their absence.
As such, on Tuesday last, Dataram was sentenced to 60 months in jail and fined $164.2 million after he was found guilty in absentia for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Meanwhile, his three co-accused, including his reputed wife, were all freed of the joint charge, which stated that on April 16, 2015, at Fourth Avenue, Diamond, East Bank Demerara, they had 60 kilograms, 840 grams of cocaine in their possession for the purpose of trafficking.