The successful extradition of United States fugitive Troy Thomas has paved the way for similar procedures for criminals hiding in Guyana.
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said that fugitives would no longer be able to hide in Guyana after committing crimes abroad. He told the media at a recent press conference that more persons were expected to be extradited in the near future to face charges for crimes they committed in other countries.
“So, we are moving forward. We are also internationally collaborating with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) far more, getting people to be extradited out of the country; all those are major developments with America when previously we could not. And we are going to extradite lots more people quite frankly, so it is going to be progress being made,” he said.
Minister Ramjattan added that the collaborative efforts to ensure that extraditions were done so that justice could be served, regardless of which country a fugitive may be hiding in, would ensure that people pay for the crimes they commit.
Just last week, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch told the media that her country would continue to partner with Guyana on the security front.
“… US and Guyanese security collaboration made history as we worked together on the highly successful extradition of alleged murderer Troy Thomas; the first extradition to the US in well over a decade. We will continue to partner on the governance front to adhere to the rule of law and to strengthen institutions, both governmental and non-governmental to become more transparent and accountable,” the Ambassador said.
Thomas fled to Guyana after allegedly killing Keith Frank, 20, a Guyanese, on December 11, 2011, at Richmond Hill, New York. He has also been accused of inflicting injuries upon Dr Katherine Maloney.
Since 2012, authorities in the US had issued a wanted bulletin for the murder suspect. In 2018, the US Attorney General and the US Secretary of State sent an extradition request to the Guyana Government.
As a result of the request, Thomas was apprehended by the Guyana Police Force last year and was kept in custody at the Lusignan Prison. However, a legal battle ensued after Thomas claimed that he was in fact Marvin Williams and not Troy Thomas. After a year of legal proceedings, High Court Judge, Justice Navindra Singh ruled on April 4, 2019, that there was sufficient evidence against Thomas to warrant his extradition to the US.
After being taken back to the US, Thomas was charged with second-degree murder.
Currently, US-based Guyanese Marcus Bisram is trying to fight his extradition from the North American country to Guyana for the murder of a Corentyne, Berbice carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt, who was killed at Number 70 Village.
So far, five men – Orlando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Diodath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Niran Yacoob – have been charged and have been recently committed to stand trial at the High Court for the killing, for which Bisram is alleged to be the mastermind.
Bisram had challenged his extradition in a New York court, which recently ruled that there was sufficient evidence for Bisram to be repatriated to Guyana.
In November 2018, Guyanese hotelier Shervington “Big Head” Lovell was arrested in Jamaica for narcotics trafficking and extradited to the US, where he faced additional drug trafficking charges as well as charges for money laundering.