Last Updated on Thursday, 3 March 2016, 12:01 by Denis Chabrol
Guyana has promised the United States (US) to facilitate the extradition of wanted persons, but so far the coalition-led administration has not received any request from the North American country.
In its 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), the State Department noted that the 10-month old coalition government has pledged to cooperate on a range of issues including the extradition of persons and the sharing of information for court cases.
“The recently elected government has expressed a strong willingness to cooperate with the United States on drug control, extradition and mutual legal assistance, and other international crime issues,” states the INCSR Report that was released Wednesday.
The United States says it looks forward to tangible progress on investigations, prosecutions, extraditions, security sector capacity enhancement, the engagement of at-risk communities, and enforcement of laws against money laundering and financial crimes.
Guyana’s Attorney General, Basil Williams and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan told Demerara Waves Online News that the US has not asked for anyone to be extradited from here.
Williams also said he was unaware of any steps being taken to amend the Fugitive Offenders Act inherited pre-independence extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that still applies to Guyana and the US.
Now self-confessed drug trafficker Barry Dataram, for whom an extradition request had been issued several years ago, had successfully challenged provisions of the extradition treaty on grounds that it could have allowed for a person to be sent to a third country.
In a number of instances, Guyanese major Guyanese drug lords wanted by the US have been held in other countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama and taken to New York where they have been convicted and sentenced to lengthy jail terms.
The US recently opened an office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Guyana to help gather intelligence and assist Guyanese law enforcement agents in going after drug barons.