How come there is no evidence to convict Guyana drug lords? – Mark Dacosta

Guyana Drug LordsDear Editor,

It appears, every time the Minister of Home Affairs makes a public statement, his pronouncements are so full of shaky positions, fallacious assertions and indefensible claims, that if one wants to take issue with them, one must choose some tiny aspect of the statement with which to argue. Otherwise, one risks writing a whole book.

On January 27, 2014, when Minister Rohee presented the 2012 National Drug Report, he stated that Guyana had no strong evidence that may lead to the conviction of drug lords. Minister Rohee also appeared to question whether such drug lords exist.

The Minister’s positions are untenable for numerous reasons. So far, the most well-known Guyanese drug lord remains Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan, arrested in Suriname in June, 2006 and sentenced to fifteen years in prison in New York in 2007. However, Roger Khan was a known criminal even before his final arrest. He had been arrested in Maryland, USA, in 1992. He was again arrested, this time in Vermont, on a firearms charge, in 1993, after which he fled to Guyana, expanded his drug empire and started laundering the proceeds through logging and construction businesses. Who can forget the infamous spy computer reportedly supplied to Khan by officials, or Khan’s public claim that he assisted the regime during the crime spree of 2002-03?

Peter Morgan was another Guyanese drug lord jailed for ten years in the USA. Morgan confessed to trafficking narcotics from Guyana and laundering the money through his well-known auto sales business in Guyana.

Can we ever forget David Clarke, of the GDF, or his accomplice Hubert Clark who skipped bail in the US and returned home to Guyana, or Alex Mingo sentenced to seventeen years in the US for cocaine trafficking?

How is it that the Minister of Home Affairs does not have evidence to convict a single drug lord in a Guyanese court?

Mr Rohee has been in charge of the Home Affairs Ministry since September, 2006. Before that, he was Minister of Foreign Trade for six years. He has been in charge of one ministry or the other since 2001. Who better to have evidence against drug lords?

Since Minister Rohee took over Home Affairs in 2006, has he not ordered the collection of evidence? Has he not done anything to improve the investigative capacity of law enforcement agencies? What has he been doing? How can he not have evidence?

Has Minister Rohee done anything to increase the monitoring of hinterland waterways or landing strips? Has he tried to solicit counter-narcotics assistance from overseas, or pressure the developed countries to assist Guyana in the drug fight? Has he tried to set up a witness protection programme? Has he recommended that persons be investigated for acquiring unexplained wealth? (like James Singh who is head of CANU and buy 3 lots of land behind his house with current value of over $24 million dollars guess James Singh will say it’s not his)

Even as Minister Rohee makes his inexplicable statements, more drug runners are being caught.

Gorden Allen, a deportee, was remanded to prison on December 15. Godfrey Gordon was caught in Port Kaituma on December 19, both with cocaine. And the list goes on and numerous amount of cocaine intercepted overseas from Guyana

Is Minister Rohee not directing the police to investigate, collect the strong evidence and place the drug lords before the courts?

Yours faithfully,
Mark DaCosta