The contents of the Granger COI into the actions of CANU’s James Singh were never meant to be public; the COI was set up as a means to railroad Singh. What the COI inadvertently revealed may have been a critical factor in the breakdown in trust between the United States and David Granger.
Further, in light of the speedy signing of a ‘shiprider’ agreement between the United States and the Irfaan Ali Administration, the contents of the COI fully exonerate James Singh, and certainly deserve deeper examination.
James Singh acted on a tip he received from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, demonstrating that he (Singh) was trusted by that agency and could be counted to act in the best interest of law and order. Against the greatest of odds, the CANU head located a boat capable of intercepting the suspected drug vessel, and, with US Coast Guard assistance, brought the semi-submersible to Guyana’s shores. The vessel was searched by DEA and CANU agents and no drugs were found. In the absence of any legal reason to detain the vessel, and with the full agreement of the DEA agents (who also assisted with interviewing the vessel’s crew), the vessel was released.
What were the ‘flawed judgments’ as perceived by Granger’s inquisitors? That James Singh cooperated with the DEA? That despite the absence of equipment and technology capable of tracking and intercepting semi-submersible vessels, Singh allowed the US Coast Guard to enter Guyanese waters without being a signatory to a shiprider agreement? Was Singh expected to throw up his hands and say there was nothing he could do when informed of the vessel’s presence by the DEA? Was it a bad idea for Singh to use his initiative in pursuit of suspected drug traffickers?
If James Singh broke laws as alleged, why wasn’t Singh charged? Is that not the purpose of COIs? (more on this later)
The COI also claims that the DEA and CANU agents did not consider the possibility that there may have been liquefied cocaine in the three drums of diesel fuel onboard the vessel. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the DEA and CANU would find this laughable, and the ‘kangaroo- style’ COI asserted that they were unable to ask the DEA agents any questions because of the fear that said agents would invoke diplomatic immunity.
To be pellucid, this is an allegation that the DEA agents participated in law-breaking, and would need to invoke protection against prosecution. The only flawed judgment this COI reveals is David Granger’s and his choice of inquisitors in the relentless effort to remove the CANU head and replace him with someone less zealous in the pursuit of drug traffickers.
The actions of President Irfaan Ali to make Guyana signatory to a shiprider agreement with the United States not only provides for cooperation between the nations in the area of drug enforcement, but also provides for joint maritime security that includes those vital Floating Production Storage and Offloading platforms (FPSO) of our fledgling oil industry.
Without the shiprider agreement, Guyana would be helpless to prevent acts of piracy or terrorism in our waters. President Ali’s reappointment of James Singh is the icing on the cake, and must be pleasing to the DEA and other international law enforcement agencies, who can once again share information with their Guyanese counterpart secure in the knowledge that Singh would leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of drug traffickers.