The two men were detained shortly after 5.30 pm in the Point Lisas area by two police officers, during an island-wide search. They were taken to the Arouca prison where they were kept in a cell at the infirmary section.
Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert confirmed late yesterday that the two men were in police custody and were taken to the Maximum Security Prison. However, when contacted by Newsday at about 6.15 pm yesterday, Prisons Commissioner John Rougier said he was unaware the two businessmen were taken to the maximum security prison but added that if it was so, he would make the necessary arrangements to ensure the safety of the two individuals. On Monday night, Philbert issued instructions to police officers to arrest Galbaransingh and Ferguson since their bail had expired. Island-wide searches were subsequently carried out as calls to their cellphones remained unanswered.
It remained unclear up to late yesterday what Galbaransingh and Ferguson were doing in Pt Lisas when they were held.
Bail for the two men expired on June 7 following the Privy Council decision not to grant an order to block their extradition to Florida to answer bid-rigging and corruption charges related to the $1.6 billion Piarco Airport Development Project.
On June 11, the attorneys for the two businessmen wrote a letter to Ramlogan seeking the continuation of the duo’s bail “under existing conditions”. They had previously filed for judicial review of then Attorney General John Jeremie’s decision to commence the extradition proceedings, claiming, among other things, that they would not get fair trials in the United States, and that Jeremie had been politically biased against them.
Their initial lawsuit was dismissed by then High Court judge Justice Nolan Bereaux, who ruled on April 5, that there was no indication on the evidence of bias, nor did the two men have a right to be put on trial locally and that the lawsuit was premature.
Legal sources explained the next step for the two men would be to have their cases heard before Attorney General Anand Ramlogan before any extradition order could be signed as they had previously asked for legal representation in the matter. When contacted yesterday Ramlogan confirmed the procedure adding that he was awaiting representation from the attorneys which were due by Monday.
“I shall consider the matter upon receipt of same,” Ramlogan said.
He further clarified that the Office of the Attorney General has no role nor function in the arrest of persons and it was a matter solely for the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions. “I am not involved in such decisions and it will be improper for me to so attempt,” Ramlogan added.