2 wardens under probe for drugs in NA, Timehri prisons

first_imgDays after it was revealed that some 28 prison officers have been dismissed so far this year for their involvement in contraband smuggling, two more ranks have now found themselves in hot water, following the discovery of illegal items at three prison facilities.In Berbice, 1032 grams of suspected marijuana and 39 packs of cigarettes were found in the New Amsterdam Prison.Acting Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels disclosed on Wednesday that a prison officer is being investigated with regards to his involvement.“From video evidence, he was seen in possession of the parcels that came over the prison fence. He then conspired with prisoners to secure same in the prison kitchen,” Samuels said.The Prisons Director noted that the discovery was made after a middle manager, acted on information received, caused a search to be conducted during which theDirector of Prisons, Gladwin Samuelsitems were discovered.“In my telephone interview with the suspect, he admitted his involvement. According to him, the items were to be delivered to a specific prisoner,” he further stated.The officer has been handed over to the Police along with the contraband found.Meanwhile, another prison officer at the Timehri Prison was taken into custody after he was implicated by an inmate regarding the presence of 584 grams of marijuana in the compound.It was reported that ranks of the Guyana Police Force, acting on information received, went to the East Bank Demerara penitentiary on Wednesday morning, where a white 10kg butter bucket containing a quantity of ziplock plastic bags, two plastic juice bottles all contained a quantity of leave, seeds and stems suspected to cannabis were handed over.The narcotics were allegedly found in possession of a 42-year-old inmate and former prison orderly, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for buggery and rape. The prisoner was observed in the prison compound at about 08:40h with the said bucket and when questioned by prison officials, he indicated that he received the cannabis from a prison officer, who is stationed at the said facility.The inmate then took the officers to a storeroom, under the stairs of the Administrative Building where two plastic bottles containing cannabis were seen. The prison officer in question has since denied any knowledge of the cannabis; nevertheless he was taken into Police custody pending further investigations.On the other hand, prison officers stationed at the Georgetown prison on Wednesday at about 08:38h, discovered a white bulky plastic bag handing on the barb wire of the southern fence of the compound. The bag was retrieved and upon examination, a quantity of leaves, seeds and stems suspected to be cannabis, two packs of transparent ziplock bags, two packs of bamboo and a quantity of leaves were found.The suspected cannabis was weighed 104 grams and has since been lodged.Contraband smuggling has long been a perennial problem within the prison system and this compounded by the fact that both prison and police officers are facilitating the illegal trade, which is said to be a “big business”.While the authorities have been struggling to curb the illegal practice, there has been a breakthrough on the apparent network among rogue prison officers. In fact, only last week, four prison officers were arrested after they smuggled a bottle of rum and a pack of cigarettes into the Lusignan Prison the weekend prior. These officers were subsequently charged and interdicted from duty.Furthermore, five other prison officers were relieved of their duties back in July after they were fingered in an incident whereby a parcel containing cannabis had been thrown into the Lusignan Prison Holding Bay area.Addressing a thanksgiving ceremony to commemorate the 35th Prisons Service Week on Sunday, Samuels disclosed that so far for the year some 28 prison officers have been dismissed. He explained that 11 of those ranks were dismissed for facilitating or directly smuggling contraband into the prison system. The Prisons Director added that there are 12 ranks currently interdicted from duty, nine of whom have been charged either departmentally or criminally for trafficking-related activities.At that event, both Samuels and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan decried rouge elements within the prison service, who contribute to contraband smuggling within the system and called for ranks to speak out against wrongdoings by their colleagues.last_img read more