Law enforcement agencies shouldn’t share blame for Dataram’s disapperarance

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016, 12:55 by Denis Chabrol

Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine on Thursday side-stepped questions about whether he believed that self-confessed drug lord, Barry Dataram should have been monitored and, instead stopped short of shifting blame to the Court that had granted him bail.

“I think I have already said enough on that matter. A lot has been already said on that matter in the press,” he said in response to a question posed by Demerara Waves Online News at a press conference held at Police Headquarters.

Dataram and his common-law wife, Anjanie Boodnarine, disappeared from Guyana days before he was sentenced in absentia to five years imprisonment and fined GYD$164.2 million for being in possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking at his Diamond, East Bank Demerara home in April 2015.

Two other persons were freed.

The Police Commissioner made it quite clear that law enforcement agencies should not be blamed for Dataram fleeing the jurisdiction. “The Dataram situation is really unfortunate but not in the sense that the law enforcement agencies were to be indicted.”

The top cop’s position was similar to President David Granger’s one day earlier, a strong indication that the Court should not have granted bail to Dataram because he is self-confessed drug lord and that was a flight risk. “We didn’t grant him bail, Comrade. Hold a minute! If it were that high profile matter, and it was properly regarded by the appropriate people, we were not the ones who granted him bail. I am saying nothing more, comrade,” Ramnarine said.

President David Granger on Thursday also signaled that it was the Court system that contributed to Dataram’s escape by first of all granting him his pre-trial liberty. “Mr. Dataram is a person of interest. He is a well-known character in Guyana and I would expect that even though the judicial branch is separate, there should be a greater level of alertness on the part of the Magistracy, in the Judiciary, in matters like this and I don’t regard it as a failing on the part of law enforcement agencies but it is definitely an error which ought to have been avoided.”

Ramnarine said a lot of collaboration was continuing to arrest and return him to Guyana. Demerara Waves Online News was told that Guyanese law enforcement agencies have issued an International Police (InterPol) alert and neighbouring Suriname to where he has fled has been already contacted.