Charrandass Persaud will be extradited to Guyana if need arises – Top Cop
Police Commissioner, Leslie James has confirmed that Former Member of Parliament, Charrandass Persaud is under investigation for alleged bribery and the illegal movement of a large sum of gold out of Guyana.
During a press conference at the Commissioner’s boardroom, Eve Leary, the Top Cop noted that Mr. Persaud, who is in Canada, has not yet been contacted but will be extradited to Guyana if the need arises.
Persaud is also a Canadian citizen.
“If it becomes necessary, he [Persaud] can be extradited,” the Commissioner told the media, adding that there is an extradition treaty between Canada and Guyana.
Persaud fled to Canada on December 22, 2018, hours after casting a vote of No-Confidence against his Government in the National Assembly and toppling the A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance Force Change (APNU+AFC) coalition Government.
Persaud was subsequently expelled from the AFC, of which he was a member.
The former Parliamentarian had expressed fear for his life and claimed that persons threatened to kill him if he returned to Guyana. When questioned about this, the Top Cop said the Guyana Police Force is capable of providing protection to Persaud.
Noting that the matter is one of “national security,” the Commissioner did not divulge information on what sparked the investigation.
However, at a press conference on Wednesday, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said the investigation began following receipt of information from Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock.
A snippet of a conversation between a number purportedly belonging to Persaud and a gold dealer later surfaced, in which the Former MP is said to be negotiating the purchase of over US$1M in gold.
While the Commissioner confirmed that there was a plan to purchase gold, he could not say whether the deal went through or money was paid.
The Top Cop told the media that statements are being taken and the police have also spoken with gold dealers. He did not confirm if any MPs were interviewed.
He said the investigation so far found that there was “corroboration,” which is a basis for the investigation.
Responding to allegations of a possible witch-hunt against Mr. Persaud, the Top Cop said the investigation “is impartial.”
“We are not seeking to manufacture anything,” the Top Cop said.
The Former Government MP is “innocent until proven guilty,” he added.
According to the Police Commissioner, the police are looking to conclude the investigation at earliest and information will be submitted for legal action.
There are three court cases surrounding the vote of No-Confidence; the Chief Justice (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards has committed to deliver a ruling by the end of January.