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Prison officers being paid to expose rogue colleagues

first_imgAs the Guyana Prison Service continues its quest to stamp out corruption, the route to success has been spiced up with prison officers now being rewarded with incentives valuing as much as $25,000 to expose criminal activities.Director of Prisons, Gladwin SamuelsThis was announced on Monday by Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels, via a statement to the media.“The Ministry of Public Security and the Guyana Prison Service would like to see officers speak out on corruption at all levels. As such, Officers are encouraged to help in this fight. For all those officers who come forward with details that can result in detection and prosecution, they will be given an incentive of between $15,000 (and) $25,000,” he said.The Director’s statements come at a time when the smuggling of contraband into prisons has peaked in recent days. Last Saturday, the Joint Services carried out a countrywide search at the various penitentiaries. The raids were conducted at the Georgetown, Lusignan, Mazaruni, New Amsterdam, and Timehri prisons.The six-and-a-half-hour-long exercise, which commenced at 06:00h, resulted in the discovery of over 275 contraband items, ranging from weapons and cellphones to homemade wine and pepper sauce.A full list of the contraband found included 28 cellular phones; in excess of 30 cellphone chargers and batteries; six USB cables; four SIM cards; a memory card; and four earplugs; along with a quantity of cigarettes and cannabis; 84 cigarette lighters; ashtrays, and 20 smoking utensils.In addition, over 65 improvised weapons, five pairs of scissors, a staple machine and a quantity of razor blades, nails, wire, sand paper and small boulders were found. The ranks also unearthed 24 metal spoons, a tattoo machine, two mirrors, playing cards, as well as bottles of homemade wine and pepper sauce.Except for the Lusignan Prison, there was no other incident during the exercise. At the East Coast Demerara penitentiary, inmates in the Holding Bay hurled stones and other objects at the Police and prison ranks; however there were no injuries reported.Contraband smuggling has long been a perennial problem within the local prison system, and this is compounded by the fact that both prison and Police Officers are facilitating the illegal trade, which is said to be “big business”.While the authorities have been struggling to curb the illegal practice, there has been a breakthrough in the apparent network among rogue officers. In fact, only last week, two prison ranks were fingered in contraband smuggling at two separate facilities.One of the officers was caught on camera with a parcel containing 1032 grams marijuana and 39 packs of cigarettes, which was thrown over the fence at the New Amsterdam Prison and been hidden in the facility’s kitchen. He later admitted to committing the act.The other rank was taken into custody after an inmate at the Timehri Prison was found with a container of 584 grams of marijuana in the compound. The prisoner said he was given the narcotic by the officer, who has since denied the allegation.Meanwhile, last month, four Prison officers were arrested after they smuggled a bottle of rum and a pack of cigarettes into the Lusignan Prison the weekend prior.These officers were subsequently charged and interdicted from duty.Furthermore, five other Prison officers were relieved of their duties back in July after they were fingered in an incident wherein a parcel containing cannabis had been thrown into the Lusignan Prison Holding Bay area.last_img read more