President David Granger has expressed worry over the quality of supervision and security in the prisons. His comment comes on the heels of a new video on social media displaying prisoners attached to the New Amsterdam Prison- who are on remand for serious offences- imbibing and in possession of high priced liquor and narcotics.
The video, which was seen by this publication, shows some of the same prisoners featured in photos shared on social media earlier this week, not only drinking alcoholic beverages but smoking marijuana and in possession of a significant amounts of cash.
Another slide showed the prisoners boasting about the “sweet life” that they are enjoying despite the fact that many of these very men were awaiting trial for grave breaches of the law, including rape, murder, robbery under arms, simply larceny and gun-related offences.
When contacted on Wednesday, Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels denied any knowledge of the new video, stating that he was only aware of the photos which had surfaced via Facebook.
He said he was at the time on a visit to the Mazaruni Prison but explained that contact could be made with the Public Security Ministry and its Public Relations Department for any update on the ongoing probe.
Despite this, Samuels told this online publication that he had already submitted an updated report to the Ministry based upon preliminary investigations, following the most recent prison fiasco.
He said the probe was ongoing but so far no “substantial or sufficient evidence” to implicate other persons in the controversy which occurred over the Mother’s Day weekend was found.
Samuels also asserted that no arrests were made to date but anyone found culpable would be disciplined accordingly.
INews also managed to confirm that at least one prisoner who owned the cellphone that took the first set of photographs featured on social media has accepted responsibility for his actions.
His phone was seized.
It has since been revealed that the alcohol and other illicit substances as well as the drugs were smuggled into the prison via a tractor owned by the Town Council.
Meanwhile, the Indian Action Committee (IAC) has since demanded a more urgent response and action from the President, stating that him just expressing worry and concern is not enough.
The IAC said it is of the strongest opinion that this lawlessness must be brought to an end immediately as it called on President David Granger to ensure that all those persons responsible for permitting this egregious lawlessness must either be called upon to resign or be dismissed.
“…Minister of Public Security and Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan has proved himself to be incapable, inept and incompetent to carry out the political responsibility for the prison service given the spate of unfortunate events which have taken place under his leadership of the sector,” the IAC stated.
The IAC has also called on President David Granger to immediately request Minister Ramjattan’s resignation, failing which he should be dismissed.
“The IAC is also of the belief that the Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels is also incapable, inept and incompetent to administer the prison system of Guyana and the organisation is calling on President Granger to request his resignation or failing which to dismiss him.”