Oct 19, 2016 News
-jailed 4 more years for forging passport, other offences
Drug convict Barry Dataram yesterday begged for leniency and said he forced his reputed wife Anjanie Boodnarine to flee the country with him, after he pleaded guilty to charges of forgery; willfully attempting to defeat the administration of the law and departing Guyana without presenting himself to an immigration officer.
The couple’s appearance before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan came three days after they were captured in Suriname having fled Guyana abandoning a drug trafficking trial.
The arrival of Dataram and Boodnarine was preceded by the sound of sirens as they were escorted by ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters.
In addition to a fine of $164,268,000 and a 60 months’ jail sentence Dataram is currently serving having been found guilty in absentia for trafficking over 100 kilograms of cocaine, he was jailed yesterday for two years and 24 months (two 12 months) having pleaded guilty to the three charges.
Dataram was charged with his reputed wife and their friends Trevor Gouveia and Komal Charran, for having 129.23kg of cocaine in their possession on April 16, 2015 for the purpose of trafficking.
However, the charges were dismissed against Boodnarine, Gouveia and Charran after Magistrate Judy Latchman ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict.
Dataram, a Guyana-born American, had successfully fought off efforts to extradite him to the United States of America to face drug smuggling charges.
Dataram fled Guyana to neighbouring Suriname before the trial ended.
Dataram, 38, who gave his occupation as a farmer, had no legal representation.
He admitted that between September 20 and October 15, having been charged with possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking and having knowledge that the matter was pending in the court, he willfully attempted to defeat the administration of the law so as to avoid the consequence.
He further admitted that between April 15, 2013 and October 15, at Camp Street, Georgetown, he conspired with other persons to forge a Republic of Guyana Passport, in favour of himself, to show that the document was issued by the Central Immigration and Passport Office.
Dataram confessed that on September 20, at Springlands, Corentyne, Berbice, he departed Guyana without presenting himself to an immigration officer.
The Chief Magistrate sentenced Dataram to two years on the first charge and 12 months each on the second and third charges.
The prison terms will run consecutively.
When asked by the Magistrate if he had anything to say, a remorseful Dataram begged for lenience and claimed that he did not flee the country willfully. He told the court that he felt as though he was not getting a fair trial in the drug trafficking matter which was presided over by Magistrate Latchman
“The reason for that is because my Attorney Glenn Hanoman and the Magistrate in court three have some personal issues.”
He said that he forced his reputed wife to flee with him because she was reluctant at first. He stated that he was responsible for getting the fake travel documents.
According to Police Prosecutor, Neville Jeffers, Dataram was arrested and charged for possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. The prosecutor said that while the matter was ongoing in court, Dataram escaped and was later sentenced to 60 months’ jail in his absence upon being found guilty by the trial Magistrate.
Jeffers related that Dataram left Guyana for Suriname via the backtrack route at Springlands, Corentyne. The prosecutor also said that the convict was arrested by Surinamese authorities and later handed over to police in Guyana. Jeffers added that investigations were launched and it was discovered that there were no records of Dataram leaving Guyana, at the Passport Office.
The court was told that the convict forged the passport by inserting a photograph of himself on the bio-data page with the name David Persaud.
The prosecutor added that the Dataram handed over the passport to Surinamese authorities when he was arrested.
Meanwhile, Anjanie Boodnarine, 21, of 79 Patentia Housing Scheme, West Bank Demerara was slapped with the same three charges. However, the mother of two was remanded to prison until October 31, after the Chief Magistrate ruled that she was a flight risk.
Attorney Cleavaughn Humphrey made a bail application on behalf of the defendant.
The lawyer requested for his client to be released on reasonable bail. The attorney told the court that Boodnarine is not a flight risk and is willing to comply with any reporting conditions attached to bail.
Bail for the defendant was opposed by Prosecutor Jeffers. The prosecutor said that Boodnarine poses a risk of flight.
According to the Jeffers, the case files in relation to her matters are complete. As such, she was instructed to return to court on the above date for statements.
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