Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Gya: Corruption in Customs

Three Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) officers were placed before the court yesterday over one year after being implicated in the acceptance of money from a man they had arrested with a number of passports.

They were granted $25,000 bail after denying the charge.

The three officers, Errol Fraser, Owen Jones and Patrick Carrington, are charged with corrupt transaction. They are accused of obtaining $3M from the man as an inducement for showing him favour.

It is alleged that on March 31 of last year Fraser, Jones and Carrington obtained $3M in cash from Salim Juman Azeez as an inducement for showing favour.

Azeez had made the allegation against the three officers after his Lot 17 Canal Number 2 Polder, West Bank Demerara home was searched and five firearms along with a duffel bag containing 159 passports, ten immigration stamps and five stamp pads were found.

Azeez was subsequently charged with the unlawful possession of firearms, but the matter was later dismissed. There was no charge in relation to the passports. Because the matter did not involve narcotics, it was handed over to the police who also investigated Azeez's allegations.
What is a Guyanese with a Muslim name doing with 159 passports (whose? Guyana's? Trinidad's? America's? whose?), 10 immigration stamps and 5 stamp pads? One cannot forget the proximity of the Muslim Triangle (nexus of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina) which is chock full of terrorists; neither can one forget that Venezuela is contiguous with Guyana, and that Chavez also has Islamic terrorists in there. Neither can one dismiss the presence of Iranians in Guyana. Since utilizing travel documents from a wide variety of countries is a particular tactic of Islamic terrorists, this capture of Azeez is important. However, the absence of a charge in relation to the passports is troubling. Given the corruption of Guyana's police force, the likelihood is that Azeez will walk. One wonders, where Azeez got the 159 passports and 10 immigration stamps from, and were they forgeries? Who is his contact in Immigration if the passports are Guyana's and legitimate? If they belong to another country, which, and how did Azeez come into possession of them?

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