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Police says blacklist predates SOCU

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The Guyana Police Force has noted that the recent assertion by Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall that 200 persons were blacklisted by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is a fabrication.

Nandlall alleged that 200 persons are ‘blacklisted’, that is, prevented from leaving the country by the Guyana Police Force, more particularly, SOCU. “It is common knowledge that SOCU has not yet charged 20 persons. This means that more than 90% of the persons on that list have not been charged,” he added, noting that such action therefore, infringes on their right to freedom.

The Police Force, however, sought to clarify that “this list predates SOCU and the number of names on the list includes those from the entire Guyana Police Force, as well as other law enforcement agencies in Guyana.”

In its statement, the GPF said the Police Blacklist over the last ten years contained a total of one hundred and thirty-nine (139) persons with eleven (11) from 2008, eleven (11) from 2009, fifteen (15) from 2010, five (5) from 2011, eighteen (18) from 2012, twenty-three (23) from 2013, eleven (11) from 2014, twelve (12) from 2015, sixteen (16) from 2016 and seventeen (17) for 2017.

According to Nandlall, during his time in Office, he was very firm in his advice to the Police regarding preventing persons from leaving the jurisdiction. “In fact, I did a legal opinion for the Police Force outlining the circumstances when a person can, lawfully, be prevented from leaving the country,” after a lawsuit was filed against the state for same, he said.

However, the police are claiming that records checked at the Office of the Commissioner of Police revealed that while the Force was represented by Nandlall in matters of litigations brought by persons placed on the Blacklist, no record of any opinion or instruction from the Former Attorney General to the Police was found.

Additionally, it said the current Commissioner would have served as Crime Chief, who maintains the Blacklist, since 2007 until his appointment as Commissioner in 2014. “He is unaware of any opinion or instruction from the Attorney General regarding the Blacklist.”

In Nandlall’s letter to the media, he pointed out that Member of Parliament, Bishop Juan Edghill, wrote to the Commissioner of Police on the 9th May 2017, requesting the names of the persons so ‘blacklisted’.

In relation to the letter, the Force noted that the information requested by the Commissioner of Information regarding the persons on the Blacklist has been dispatched.

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