CANU denies seizing businessman’s jewellery worth $4M at CJIA

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The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) remains adamant that none of its ranks were involved in the operation in which a local businessman was detained and jewellery worth $4M confiscated at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) last week.
Businessman Richard Ramjit, a goldsmith of Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, claimed he was detained four hours at the airport and two pieces of his gold and silver jewellery, a necklace and a band valued some $4 million, were seized by CANU.
However, Head of CANU James Singh, in a statement Saturday, categorically denied that any of his officers were involved in the operation.
“CANU would like to state that the officers who identified themselves as CANU officers, are not members of the unit, nor were they ever members of the unit. Furthermore, no CANU Officer was involved in that operation at any time,” the CANU head declared.
Singh went on to outline that while CANU officers on duty are indeed “uniformed”, they however have on display their issued Identification Card from the Unit with their names.
The businessman had claimed that, on Tuesday last, as he was checking-in at the airline counter for his flight to New York, a person in civilian clothes approached him indicating that he is a CANU officer and wanted to search his suitcases. The officer also questioned him, the businessman said.
Ramjit added that after being questioned by two officers in a room, he was allowed to proceed to the Departure Lounge but shortly after, he was detained again and accused of trying to smuggle gold, which he denied. The man said he was then taken on the tarmac where his checked-in suitcase was opened in the presence of the other passengers.

CANU Head James Singh
CANU Head James Singh

“This officer then demanded that I hand over to him the said neckwear and wrist band; I did so and I have not seen either pieces of jewellery since. This officer also requested that I report the following morning to the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) at Camp Street, Georgetown.”
Following Tuesday’s incident, the businessman filed a $10 million lawsuit against government since the officers would have acted under the new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment passed by the David Granger-led administration last year.
This incident has brought to the fore concerns about how potential travellers will be affected by this new legislation, which allows designated officers to seize cash and jewellery in excess of US$10,000.
Former Legal Affairs Minister cum Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, who is representing the businessman, said he had pointed this out in Parliament during debate on the amendments but was ignored.
The Notice of Motion filed on Thursday is scheduled to be heard on February 15, 2016.
According to Ramjit in the legal documents, when he was eventually released the flight had already left, causing him a loss of US$750 for his ticket and a further G$400,000 for items he was supposed to buy and resell to make a profit.
In addition to asking the court to grant an order for his jewellery to be returned, the businessman is also asking for “damages in excess of $10,000,000 for breach of his fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of Guyana”.

12 COMMENTS

  1. What personal responsibility have to do with regime its common sense to know that when people are rob at the airport the will not travel and it will effect the economy if Guyana gona prosper people have to feel secure and confident in our security service people like u want to put Guyana in darkness

  2. Are they still blocking the cameras ? Are they still turning off the electrical power that feeds the surveillance cameras ? Are they still turning off the ocean container x-ray machine ?
    This James Singh fellow is bringing disrepute to himself and has walked right into the trap of being the next one to go….who gave him the instructions to say what he said ? Felix, Harmon and company must be rubbing their hands in glee … another one bites the dust….

  3. you are not afraid to call names because of your ignorance. people who are ignorant of the fact aren’t afraid because they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. i don’t have to even deal with the other load of trash you posted here thinking that it is a comment when it is in fact the ramblings of a person who feels rather jaded and defeated trying to defend the indefensible actions of a lawless regime that has been kicked to the curb.

  4. So I guess if not mr Singh officers rob the man is someone from The outside so anyone can move freely in the airport and rob respectful guyanese people. Great job mr Singh u should get a promotion

  5. Mr president this guy James Singh is a shame to this administration to say it wasn’t done by any off his officers.which means that anyone can move freely anywhere under his watch.he should resign if he can’t solve this one . The airport is where we should treat our people with dignity and respect regardless of our color.lets make race a thing of the past and give people the job only if they qualify or Guyana will have no hope

  6. How could the business man be smuggling gold ? It was not concealed. These Officers choose to harrass the innocent decent hardworking passengers. While the drug mules walk right pass them
    Imagine a respectable business man being embarrassed like that. People out of jealously from time to time call their officer friend at the Airport , who usually comply and carry out such searches. Who else have access to these rooms? Check the camera footage . They should not hire Officers and other staff members to work at the airport without conducting a thorough background check. Some of these Officers behavior is reckless. They behave like a Prison Warden. They talk down to you. They are very unprofessional. I say to the Business man talk to a Lawyer . Tbis should never have happened.

  7. Images of that camera would have long been deleted. Yes, there would be blanks between the times but excuses would be made, ”due to technical difficulties”. These rascals directing activities throughout the length and breadth of Guyana planned in advance what they would do once INSTALLED by the AMERICANS and their other two poodles. UK and Canada. All these are the hall mark of the main architects….and I am not afraid to call names

  8. CANU denies seizing businessman’s jewellery worth $4M at CJIA
    CANU denies seizing must be the end of PNC story.
    Once the man’s name is Richard Ramjit then case closed.

  9. There are camera at the airport view the footage and see who are the person and let the law deal with them. But don’t tell me that the footage disappear.

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