September 17, 2014

Four immigration officers arrested in U.S. visa forgery case

At least four immigration officers stationed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) are in police custody after they were accused of collecting monies to allow three persons to pass through immigration with forged U.S. visas.

This was confirmed by Crime  Chief Seelall Persaud on Wednesday, who stated that the police are in the process of verifying if the visas were valid. He said that based on investigations, the persons whose names were submitted to the police were on the manifest to travel out of the country.

Based on the sensitivity of the issue, the police are continuing their investigation with assistance from various stakeholders.

Guyana Times understands that the three persons were arrested in Suriname while going through the immigration department. The three Guyanese are in the custody of Surinamese law enforcement authorities and are expected to be extradited shortly.

In addition, it was gathered that four female immigration officers requested $60,000 from the three people in exchange for not reporting the matter to authorities. The money was reportedly paid and the three persons were allowed to pass. The offence was reportedly committed on September 30 at the CJIA.

Nevertheless, Persaud stated that the immigration officers are still employed with the Guyana Police Force since they were hired under the public service regulations, but are being grilled and based on the outcome, a decision will be taken.

He also added that others might or might not be questioned in relation to the incident. The four women were up to late Wednesday afternoon being interrogated at the Criminal Investigative Department (CID).

This publication understands that the immigration officers are intermittently shuffled between the Central Immigration Office and the CJIA to perform duties.

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