-tells her side
Nicole Ming said yesterday that her landlord, politician Peter Ramsaroop had a key to her apartment and when she moved in there was an object on the wall which she believed at that time was a motion detector.
However, Ramsaroop, an Alliance For Change (AFC) executive member continues to deny any wrongdoing, stressing that there is a political motive behind the discovery of the cameras which were planted to not only frame him but tarnish his good name.
Ming, a 19-year-old marketing representative at the Guyana Times yesterday for the first time spoke publicly on the issue and responded to questions surrounding her relationship with President Bharrat Jagdeo. Addressing reporters in the boardroom of Guyana Times, the woman said she went first to the police after she found out that there was a camera in her apartment.
She was then asked about her relationship/friendship with Jagdeo and responded: “I don’t think that is relevant in this conversation. The matter is about the cameras in my apartment.”
She then added that the issue with her and the President was Ramsaroop’s issue and her only concern was the cameras which she wanted to address the media about.
When told that she was being asked about her relationship with the President because it was an issue that Ramsaroop had raised, Ming said: “Okay. I know him. We’re friends”. She subsequently said that a trip to the Rupununi Rodeo with Jagdeo was not relevant to the issue at hand and urged the media, “please keep it relevant”.
The woman, in the presence of her attorney, Paul Braam, said that on March 15, she officially moved into her new apartment after two days of fetching in personal items since it was already furnished. She explained that the apartment was initially a garage which was converted to accommodate Ramsaroop’s mother whenever she visited.
The woman told the media, that the contract she signed stated that she would stay for six months then move out for a month to accommodate Ramsaroop’s mother and thereafter her contract would be renewed.
Earlier this year, she said, she met Ramsaroop’s fiancée Jane Stuart and while communicating via Facebook and text messaging, she told the woman that she was looking for a place to rent. Stuart subsequently informed her that she had one and she could go and inspect it.
Ming said that after visiting the apartment located at Lot 261 Forshaw and New Garden streets, Queenstown, she signed the contract and paid a two-month deposit and one month’s rent which amounted to $90,000.
Ming told reporters that the couple had told her there were cameras outside the building but did not mention any inside. Ramsaroop had said that Ming was aware there was a camera in her apartment which was listed on the contract agreement but the woman strongly denied this yesterday.
According to Ming, there was no camera facing the wall, as Ramsaroop had stated, rather it was facing her bed and she has a witness who could corroborate that. That witness, Althea Roberts, was present during the press briefing.
She recalled that when she moved in she saw an object on the wall which was a little bigger than the palm of her hand but thought it was a motion detector.
She said that a friend who was knowledgeable about this type of device saw one on the door and then looked around and saw another on the wall. Ming said the friend told her they were motion detectors so she did not raise any objections about their presence.
Just over two weeks into her stay at the apartment, the young woman said, she saw a red light blinking and later realised it was a camera.
She recalled that one day she was hosting a party, and while “joking around about the camera” one of her friends “just decide to show some skin so she raised up her top or something like that and then the light started blinking and we made a joke about it and she did it again and the light started blinking”.
The device from which the light was emanating was then turned to the wall.
Ming admitted that she at no time went to Ramsaroop about the device. Instead, she said, “We tried all kinds of things to detect if it was a sensor. We threw things at it but nothing happened”.
Ming insisted that the politician had a spare key to her apartment but could not say if anyone went into her room and installed cameras.
Ramsaroop had told Stabroek News that he did not have any keys to his tenants’ apartments. He said the tenants would change their locks whenever they moved in. He said though that he has a master key that would open an outer door leading to the apartments.
Ming recalled that on May 4, she and Ramsaroop had a conversation about his telephone not working properly and his intention to enter her apartment to have it fixed.
The young woman said that the following day he asked her if she would be at home at midday and when she replied in the negative, Ramsaroop asked her to leave the door open for the technician.
“I said no I will not leave the door open. Don’t you have spare keys? He said ‘yes it is inside’ and he will have to go and check,” she added.
She told reporters that on that day she gave Ramsaroop permission to enter her apartment to fix the telephone line but she could not say if he did. The telephone phone lines run through her apartment, she explained.
Ming said that she was unaware of any master key but “he told me that he has spare keys. I never changed the lock on my door. Yes I have a padlock and it is their padlock.”
The radio and clock
The young woman added that when she moved into the apartment, the radio and clock that police found cameras hidden in, were there along with several other items that were not listed on the contract.
The clock was not working, she said, but she subsequently changed the batteries and did not see a camera. The radio was in the bathroom.
She said after informing the police of her suspicions last week she moved out. However, on Monday night, she said, she returned with her mother to collect a stove and was approached by Ramsaroop and Stuart.
Stuart, she said, handed her a notice of termination which stemmed from an alleged conversation they had on May 13. Yesterday Ming denied that such a conversation took place.
Ming claimed that when she was leaving on Monday night, Ramsaroop spoke to her, “he was like Nicole we need to settle this now. We need to do this before this whole story goes out of control. We need to settle this now please come inside.” She said that her mother was a witness to that conversation. At this point, she said, she believed Ramsaroop was admitting that he was recording her.
When asked about the statements Ramsaroop was making to the press, she said, “I think he is making all these things up to get out of the situation.”
She insisted that she reported the matter to the police because she wanted to know if there were any images of her and if there were she wanted them to be destroyed. She added too that she did not go to Ramsaroop because she believed he would not admit to her that he was recording her.
“I didn’t intend on the story getting this far. I just wanted to confirm that there were cameras in my apartment which I did,” she said.
She said that this entire ordeal had affected her emotionally and work wise and she is scared that something will happen to her
“He just want to show a good face so that he can get out of it,” she added.
Police in their official statement on Tuesday said that they are investigating the matter and have taken statements from both sides.
There has not been any further update from investigators.