Govt orders probe into passports issued to Dataram, wife

first_imgGovernment is under pressure to explain to the public how drug lord Barry Dataram and his reputed wife Anjanie Boodnarine were issued with passports which aided in them fleeing the country, amid their trial for drug possession.Citizenship Minister Winston Felix announced on Saturday that a full investigation has been launched to determine the circumstance under which Dataram and his reputed wife were issued the bogus documents.The duo were on Friday nabbed in neighbouring Suriname and on Saturday handed over to local law enforcement authorities.The passports bore the names ‘David Persaud’ and ‘Christine Persaud’ with the year of issue being 2013 and 2016 respectively.Felix said the passports are now in the possession of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and that the investigation launched will seek to determine who and what documents were involved in their preparation as well as the couple’s method of departure from Guyana.The Minister also guaranteed that those culpable will face the harshest possible action.The revelation of the issuance of passports which helped the drug lord and his spouse escape the country brings into play the concerns raised by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Opposition of rampant corruption practices under the Citizenship Ministry.But the Ministry, which has responsibility for immigration services, insists that it inherited a number of challenges related to the integrity of systems when the new Administration took office in May 2015 and has been working to correct those issues.Dataram and his wife were, along with two others, charged with the possession of some 129.23 kg (225 pounds) of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, which was found at Dataram’s home on April 16, 2015.On September 27, 2016, while Dataram had already fled the country, he was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined $164 million.His wife and the two other co-defendants were acquitted.last_img read more