James Singh returns as CANU boss

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Head of the Customs Anti –Narcotics Unit (CANU), James Singh

Former Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) Chief, James Singh was reappointed Head of the drug enforcement body after the disbandment of the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA), which was formed by the previous Administration.

Singh, according to information received, returned on Monday and met with staff where he was briefed on the present operation. The reappointment of Singh was done by Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn.

Inews understands that the contract for the former Head of NANA, Retired Major General Michael Atherly, had expired and was not renewed. As such, Lesley Ramlall was acting as Head of CANU which falls under the NANA structure.

Singh was removed as Head of CANU in 2017 by the APNU/AFC Government following a Commission of Inquiry into the detention and subsequent release of a suspected drug-laden vessel.

The unnamed private maritime vessel was spotted in Guyana’s waters off the Corentyne coast moving north between February 11 to 14, 2017. It was intercepted and searched but no narcotics were not found on board.

Meanwhile, after James was sent on leave pending the outcome of the CoI, the then Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, in a letter to Singh related that in line with Government’s policy to ensure that officers do not accumulate annual leave, the former CANU boss was asked to proceed on leave immediately.