Joint Services uncover contraband at NA prison

The prohibited items found in the New Amsterdam Prison yesterday (Photo courtesy of the Guyana Police Force)

Prohibited items, including cell phones, were yesterday found during a search at the New Amsterdam Prison.

In a statement to the media, the Guyana Police Force’s Public Relation Officer Jairam Ramlakhan said that during a four-hour Joint Services search operation, nine cellular phones, a number of cell phone chargers, several SIM cards, 220 grammes of cannabis and a quantity of wire, razor blades and lighters were uncovered.

For some time, authorities have been struggling to keep prohibited items out of the various prisons. It is suspected that the majority of those items find their way into the prison with the assistance of prison officers. In recent times, a number of them have been caught and prosecuted.

On Mother’s Day, pictures of inmates of the New Amsterdam Prison consuming pricey liquor were posted on Facebook. Two months later, officials on duty at the prison discovered a number of contraband items, including a quantity of narcotics and alcohol in the prison yard.

Director of Prisons (ag) Gladwin Samuels had informed that two parcels containing narcotics, eighteen packs of cigarettes, twelve packs of Bamboo rolling paper, a plastic bottle containing El Dorado 5 year old rum and a quantity of ziplock bags, suspected to have been tossed over the fence and into the prison yard, were discovered next to a chicken pen.

Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan has publicly expressed his anger at the frequent cases of smuggling of contraband into the prison system. “…You get angry at what’s happening, you feel a sense of despair, but really it just goes to show the quality of some of our prison officers that allow that to happen,” he told reporters earlier this year.

On that occasion, Ramjattan disclosed that he had been engaged in talks with the Minister of Finance for the allocation of funds to purchase scanners for the entrances of the prison facilities to enhance security.

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