The Foreign Affairs Ministry said it has noted reports on the arrest by Suriname authorities of T&T political analyst Derek Ramsamooj and is monitoring the situation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne confirmed this yesterday following news that Ramsamooj was arrested last week.
Ramsamooj was reported by Suriname media to have been arrested last week by Suriname’s Public Prosecution Service concerning investigations of alleged fraud matters at the Surinamese Post Savings Bank.
Suriname Newscentrale had stated Ramsamooj was “suspected” of participating in a criminal organisation, forgery, fraud and acting in violation of the Anti-Corruption Act.
Ramsamooj was reported to be the second person arrested as part of the SPSB probe—the first being SPSB director Ginmardo Kromosoeto. The latter was arrested by the police in August.
An investigation was underway since 2019 into alleged malpractice at the SPSB.
However, Ramsamooj’s partner Camille Pagee said last Saturday that Ramsamooj isn’t a suspect and wasn’t arrested.
She said he’d inquired if there are charges proposed and was told by Suriname Police that he’s not being charged but was asked to help with an investigation.
She said the police are investigating transactions which passed through State bank, SPSB and are contacting every person/company who had invoices paid by that bank.
She said Ramsamooj had in the past invoiced for his polling and analysis and other services which were paid at the bank.
She said he was cooperating with police.
Yesterday Browne said his ministry was monitoring the situation via its Caricom and Caribbean Affairs division and Consular Affairs division. He gave no further comment.
Yesterday Pagee told Guardian Media the information she has on the procedure is that there are a number of days during which Ramsamooj’s phone has to be turned off according to the processes being applied to all people who are asked to provide information in the context of an investigation.
She said one of those days during which his phone was turned off was his birthday recently and many people had tried to call him.
“However, as a foreigner in any country, the first thing you have to do is respect the process and comply with requests of the local authorities.”
Pagee said Ramsamooj was asked to share what he knows as a person who provided services.
“So far the process seems to be a straightforward exercise of confirming that his qualifications are genuine, his work products (surveys, data collected) can be accounted for, his references, checked.”
She referred to a photo of Rasamooj at a planning meeting with members of the local media in Suriname.
She added: “In 2018-2019 his team helped organise a conference on climate change funding models for “High Forestation” nations to balance development against the need to preserve intact rainforest.” Representatives from over 20 countries attended and Derek oversaw all media coverage and promotion. This is just an example of the work he does apart from the well-known public opinion polling around the Caribbean.”