Guyana Politics: Charrandass under investigation for gold smuggling -Top Cop

By Guyana Chronicle – 

Police Commissioner , Leslie James (second from right) and other senior members of Guyana Police Force

…extradition will be sought if necessary

Former Alliance for Change (AFC) Member of Parliament Charrandass Persaud is under investigation for gold smuggling and Police Commissioner, Leslie James told reporters on Friday morning that the authorities will seek to have him extradited from Canada if necessary.

The Top Cop also said that the investigations are at a significant stage at the moment and during Friday morning’s press conference at police headquarters at Eve Leary, he said that there may be reasons for local investigators to interview Persaud.       

Noting that Persaud is innocent until proven guilty,the Commissioner said that he interviewed several gold dealers during the course of the investigations thus far.He said that the investigations are being undertaken in an impartial manner.

He said too that the police will be seeking legal advice based on evidence gathered.

The People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) is on record as saying that the former AFC Member of Parliament was allegedly bribed by the opposition. Persaud has since denied the allegations, although admitting to a dubious transaction where he was attempting to purchase some US$1M in gold.

At a news conference on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo sought again to distance his party from allegations that they bribed Persaud to vote for them, although one of his top advisers, Peter Ramsaroop, went so far as to breach security protocol at the Ogle Airport to spirit away Persaud one day after the vote.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Wednesday told a news conference at his party’s headquarters that he is not aware of any attempts or plan on the night of December 21 to harm Persaud after he voted in favour to topple the government. The Security Minister said that given the nature of the vote, he knew that had anything happened to Persaud, it would have reflected very badly on the government and as such, the necessary steps had to and were taken to provide security for him.

In a side interview, Ramjattan also denied having any knowledge of plans to harm Charrandass once he returns to Guyana, be it to answer charges or otherwise.

Persaud is reported to have said that he received information that efforts are afoot to have him killed either on the road or once he is sent to prison, to have him hang in his prison cell. Minister Ramjattan rubbished these claims and told the Guyana Chronicle that Persaud is using these excuses as a means of not coming back to Guyana.

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