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GUYANA – Probe launched into Mother’s Day ‘prison party’

GEORGETOWN – After a social media post of prisoners at the New Amsterdam Prison hosting a party with rum and drugs went viral, an investigation has been launched.

The social media post, which was uploaded by Abdul Andre Azimullah, who is on remand for murder, showed inmates sporting high-priced liquor and drugs during what they labelled a Mother’s Day party.

One of the photos that were posted on Facebook showing prisoners posing and consuming alcohol while being detained at New Amsterdam penitentiary

When contacted, director of the Guyana Prison Service Gladwin Samuels said that while there was no exact or direct evidence as to how the liquor got into the penitentiary, the prisoner who posted the pictures on Facebook has identified the person who took the items into the facility.

“There is no direct evidence pointing to any prison officer who would have facilitated the movement of the contraband into the prison,” Samuels said.

However, investigators noted that the bottles of pricey liquor – Cîroc and Hennessey – were smuggled into the jail yard on a town council tractor.

“Based on video evidence, the tractor was searched, and the search seemed to have been properly conducted based on what the video is revealing,” Samuels noted.

He added that this was an indication of a lapse in supervision of the prison yard on Sunday, while citing his disappointment, he further noted that sanctions would be taken against those persons who are found culpable.

“We still have to do further investigations to establish if that was so because, as it is right now, that is the prisoner’s account,” the prisons director explained.

Samuels said a news conference would be hosted during which time the supervisor would discuss what occurred.

“I have made it clear that the officer-in-charge of the facility must be at the press briefing, because it is time that they are made to answer for their stewardship,” he noted.

The prisons director said he alone would not be taking blame because officers must understand that they have to take responsibility for delegated authority.

Moreover, concerns continue to be raised about how prisoners gain possession of illegal items that are found in the prison.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Monday, the public security ministry said that the mobile device which was used by the inmate to post the pictures on social media has since been seized, as investigations continue.

“The ministry is extremely disappointed that alien objects and other material, inclusive of drugs and liquor, find their way into the various prisons as obviously happened here. There is no doubt collusion with prison wardens and prisoners which is causing this. This kind of misbehavior by the culpable prison wardens will be dealt with very seriously after the ongoing investigations reveal who they are. The public will be further advised on this matter after investigations concludes,” the ministry noted in its statement. (Guyana Times)

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