Path cleared for more extraditions between Guyana, US – Halloway
While there has not been much success in the past with extradition between Guyana and the United States, the path has now been cleared for the exchange of more fugitives between the two countries.
This is according former US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, during an interview with a group of local journalists last week – his last media engagement in that post after completing his three year tenure here.
Ambassador Holloway believes the successful extradition of US fugitive Troy Thomas and the impending extradition of Marcus Bisram has paved the way for this.
“I think once those two guys go back and forth, I think you will see more
[extraditions] in both directions,” he told reporters.
According to the US Diplomat, one of the tools that has been useful in tackling the scourge of transnational crime was the extradition of “the bad guys” out of Columbia to the US.
While there is no formal extradition treaty between the two countries, the US had such an arrangement with the United Kingdom since December 1931, and after Guyana became independent from British colonial rule, the treaty remained effective – something which the US has acknowledged.
“That treaty is still valid but I wanted to make sure that we treated it as a true bilateral treaty. We have certainly made our effort. These cases take a long time. You have noticed, both in the United States [and here], how many appeals Mr. Bisram has and Troy Thomas here has. There still may have a few more left, but I think they are getting to the end of their appeals process,” Ambassador Holloway stated.
Nevertheless, he asserted that the successes of these extradition cases is now
sending a message to fugitives that they can no longer escape from authorities in either country.
“There are people who get away with it but not forever. There are people who regularly try to flee Guyana and go to the States or somewhere else. If the request is done in the proper way with the right legal documents attached to it and we think there is the likelihood there is a fair trial in the country requesting it, we will extradite people it shouldn’t be that hard,” the former US Ambassador contended.
Currently, US-based Guyanese, Bisram is trying to fight his extradition from the North American country to here for the murder of a Corentyne, Berbice, carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt who was killed at the Number 70 Village. So far, five men – Orlando Dickie, Radesh Motie, Diodath Datt, Harri Paul Parsram, and Niran Yacoob – have been charged and were recently committed to stand trial at the High Court for the killing, of which Bisram is alleged to be the mastermind.
Bisram had challenged his extradition in a New York court, which recently ruled that there was sufficient evidence for Bisram to be repatriated to Guyana.
Meanwhile, a local magistrate earlier this month ordered that US fugitive Troy
Anthony Thomas be extradited to face a murder charge in the North American nation after he tried to fight his repatriation. Thomas is wanted for the alleged murder of Keith Frank on December 11, 2011 in New York.
However, while these two cases seemed to be yielding success, Guyanese in the past have managed to fight off their extradition requests from the US. One such person is convicted drug trafficker, Barry Dataram. But after this case, the Fugitive Offenders Act was tightened to prevent more fugitives from taking advantage of loopholes.
In the past, authorities would have had to wait to get drug traffickers such as Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan and Peter Morgan into other territories to ensure their successful extradition to the North American country.
In fact, only last month Guyanese hotelier, Shervington “Big Head” Lovell, was arrested in Jamaica for narcotics trafficking and was recently extradited to the US where he faced additional drug trafficking charges as well as charges for money laundering.
Following months of investigation and intelligence gathering, the US issued an
arrest warrant for the Guyanese businessman in August. However, his detainment was strategic since authorities were monitoring his movements over the past months which saw him meeting with associates in both Georgetown and Jamaica, as they allegedly planned a cocaine shipment to the Netherlands.
Court documents from the US revealed that Lovell allegedly sought help on how to launder money from the Netherlands as while he had reportedly done so from the US and Canada, it was a first for the European country.