Surinamese media report that T&T political analyst, Derek Ramsamooj, has been detained by Suriname’s Public Prosecution Service concerning his alleged connection with a probe at the Surinamese Post Savings Bank.
Gail Alexander

Reports that political analyst Derek Ramsamooj has been detained by Suriname’s Public Prosecution Service in connection with a probe at the Surinamese Post Savings Bank, have been denied by his companion Camille Pagee.

Ramsamooj, 59, of Marabella, has been known for over 25 years as a pollster in T&T and across the region. He owns Carbon Footprint Limited.

A Suriname Newscentrale report on his arrest stated: “In the police investigation that is being conducted into the fraud affair at the Surinamese Post Savings Bank (SPSB), the consultant Derek Ramsamooj was arrested and detained by the Public Prosecution Service. He is suspected of participating in a criminal organisation, forgery, fraud and has acted in violation of the Anti-Corruption Act.

“Ramsamooj is from Trinidad and is the second person arrested as part of this investigation. First, the director of the Surinamese Post Savings Bank (SPSB), Ginmardo Kromosoeto, was arrested by the police.”

The report continued: “The Fraud Department of the police is responsible for this criminal investigation. An investigation was already underway into the malpractice at the SPSB. It has also been reported that Ramsamooj was a consultant to the NDP and was the mastermind behind those polls for the past decade.”

The NDP is Suriname’s National Democratic Party. It was founded in 1987 by highly controversial Surinamese leader Dési Bouterse. who won Suriname’s presidency in 2010 elections with a coalition of which his NDP was the dominant party. NDP also won the 2015 elections but in the 2020 elections NDP lost to the Opposition VHP.

Bouterse was replaced as president in July by VHP head Chandrikapersad Santokhi, a former police inspector who investigated Bouterse’s alleged crimes.

In a statement late yesterday, Pagee said Ramsamooj is not a suspect and has not been charged but was asked to assist with the investigations.

The method of that country’s police is to question people in isolation, without allowing contact to family, etc. “Apparently they can keep a person at the station for eight days and there is nothing he or anyone can do to intevene in this time,” she said.

In 2011 at a Caricom summit Bouterse had said he wanted to deepen ties with T&T but up to 2012 hadn’t been able to visit. Kromosoeto, then Bouterse’s Land and Spatial Development and Environment Minister, said Suriname was opening doors to global neighbours for business beyond eco-tourism and its mining projects.

Yesterday those close to Ramsamooj in T&T said they had been trying to reach him in the last two days but were unable to. It was confirmed he was in Suriname. Government officials said they were unaware of the development.