GEORGTOWN (GUYANA) — Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan is calling on Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) ranks to secure more convictions.
Ramjattan is also arguing that too often persons who are caught red-handed with narcotics walk free due to the lack of adequate evidence presented in court.
The Minister made the remarks at the opening of a capacity building Narcotics Training Workshop which was held at the Racquet Centre. Ramjattan said the records that he has reviewed indicate that there has been several, “interdictions and investigations.”
Minister Ramjattan advised the officers that their “record must be improved as it regards convictions.”
He noted that “convictions more or less is the epitome, the very top. When you get a conviction as a unit, that is but the pride, that is but the big success that you would all want, and so we have to do better in relation to convictions.”
The inability to secure the sentences, the Minister said, is not a reflection of innocence. He said that the court has a high standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt or “beyond the shadow of a doubt” and requires every piece of evidence in order for that person to be convicted.
However, Minister Ramjattan encouraged the ranks to use the workshop as a stepping stone and not to be discouraged describing narcotics smuggling as injurious to the democracy and economy. He described the act as an “extremely evil thing” adding that while it has garnered billions of dollars for a small number of people, at the same time it has destroyed the lives of many families.
The officers were urged to be professional and not to fall prey to the lucrative lifestyle the smuggling of narcotics may portray. Ramjattan told those gathered that it is only through ethics and professionalism that they will become distinguished officers.
“Though you may be unit officers, the money that goes with it, you would want to say well why not give it a try, one blink and that is it. I can be successful, no you must not. It is an extraordinarily dangerous undertaking, to the extent that even if you are successful, in that little fling, you are going to destroy the lives of so many people” the Minister stated.
The workshop sought to provide techniques to better equip the officers in addressing twenty-first century crimes; particularly as it relates to narcotics smuggling. It was highlighted that persons are seeking more ingenious ways to smuggle narcotics, therefore officers must be prepared for such tactics.
The workshop is slated to conclude on Friday, October 27, 2017. (Isaiah Braithwaite/DPI)