Police to pay over $5M in compensation for unlawful detention
…after 3 Mahaicony residents sue Police, AG The Guyana Police Force (GPF) will have to spew out over $5 million in compensation as ordered by the High Court for the unlawful arrest and, therefore, contravening the fundamental rights of Raywattie Harrychand by holding her in lock-ups for three days without any substantial reason.Her husband, Tularam Ramassar, filed separate proceedings and will also have to be compensated for the impoundment of his motorcar, along with his unlawful arrest during the same period of March 2017.Both cases were heard by Justice Gino Persaud, who ruled in favour of the claimants, represented by Attorneys-at-Law Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan, Sasha Mahadeo-Narayan, Rajendra Jaigobin and Anuradha Deodasingh.Reports are on March 20, 2017 at about 11:00h, that Mark Abraham, a member of the Guyana Police Force, along with another colleague, visited the home of Raywattie Harrychand at Good Faith, Mahaicony, and asked her to proceed to the Mahaicony Police Station.Upon her arrival, she was asked whether she knew a woman that was present by the name of Debra Angalin. Harrychand responded that in the affirmative, stating that they worked together at the Kuree Supermarket and General Store.Abraham then suggested that Angalin stole $12 million and it was given to the claimant.Attorney General Basil WilliamsHarrychand refuted this allegation, maintaining that she knew nothing about the money and was ordered to sit on a bench at the station and later transported to the Beterverwagting Police Station. On March 21, 2017, the woman was returned to the Mahaicony Police Station, where she was interrogated by Abraham.He stated that Angalin informed that she had given the money to Harrychand and her husband, Tularam Ramassar, and further stated that she was lying when the allegations were denied.The officers had also questioned the means by which the claimant bought furniture to which she stated that her mother-in-law, Phulbasia Kallu, assisted them.Later that day, Kallu was then called for questioning, admitting that she assisted in purchasing the furniture and a motorcar. She was told by Abraham that her son and daughter-in-law provided the money to purchase the items, but denied these claims and was sent to the lock-ups.Meanwhile, Ramassar was delivering food to his wife and mother when Abraham approached him and demanded that he park his car in the compound of the Police station and remove all belongings.The vehicle was searched and after nothing was found, he was asked to sit on a bench.Upon inquiring about the nature of the events, Abraham told Ramassar that the vehicle was property of the said Kuree Supermarket and that “it would rot in the compound”. After denying all allegations, the man was placed in a cell and told that he would be transported to the Camp Street Prison after signing a statement out of fear.Both women were later transported to the Beterverwagting Police Station and on March 23, 2017, they were released on $50,000 station bail without being charged. The same followed for Ramassar. The three were told to return the next day, without being told under what grounds they were imprisoned. After the incident, Abraham reportedly threatened Ramassar to seize his belongings.In the case of Harrychand and Kallu, Justice Persaud ruled on Friday that they be compensated with $2.5 million and $1.5 million respectively.The Guyana Police Force was also ordered to pay aggravated damages to both Kallu and Harrychand in the sum of $375,000 each with interest on all sums at a rate of six per cent from the date of the filing of the proceedings to the date of judgement and four per cent from the date of judgement until the sum is paid. The GPF will also have to pay costs of $150,000.Meanwhile, in the case filed by Ramassar, it was ruled that the detention and/or unlawful arrest also contravened his fundamental right and freedom not to be deprived of his personal liberty and would be awarded compensation in the sum of $1.5 million for breach of his fundamental right.The court ordered for the motorcar, which is a Toyota Runx, to be released along with $500,000 for breach of his fundamental right not to be deprived of his property; special damages for loss of the motor car in the sum of $470,000, aggravated damages in the sum of $200,000. Interest on all sums at a rate of six per cent from the date of the filing of the proceedings to the date of judgement and six per cent from the date of judgement until the sum is paid. Cost of $150,000 will also have to be paid by GPF.The Guyana Police Force was represented by the Attorney General’s chambers.