Halim Khan's wife held for questioning
Two vehicles taken away

Stabroek News
May 1, 2000

A West Demerara mother of a one-year-old child is the latest person taken into custody by the task force which is assisting the US embassy in investigating the scale and extent of the activities of its Economic Affairs Officer, Thomas Carroll.

Her detention is believed to be causing her child great distress with the absence of both mother and father.

The woman is being held at the La Penitence Police Station and her lawyers were denied access to her when they attempted to see her on Saturday evening and yesterday morning.

The woman is Radha Khan, the wife of Halim Khan, a West Demerara spare parts dealer and restaurateur, who with Carroll is facing charges of bribery, visa fraud and producing false visas before a federal court in Chicago, Illinois, USA. They were both arrested in the US - Carroll in Chicago and Khan in Miami - on March 17.

Radha Khan was taken into custody by members of the task force at the West Demerara restaurant owned by Khan on Saturday. Her home at Met-en-Meer-Zorg was searched and two cars were taken away by the officers who arrested her.

Vidyanand Persaud who has been retained by Radha Khan's relatives told Stabroek News yesterday that he had been denied access to his client and the officers at the station could not tell him on what charges his client was being held or who was the officer in charge of the investigations.

Persaud also criticised the detention of his client, explaining that because of the holiday today, he would have to wait until tomorrow before he could approach the courts to file a habeas corpus writ to have his client produced by those detaining her.

Just before Easter, Eton Cordis, a reported associate of Carroll was taken into custody by the task force but was released on $50,000 bail after he was questioned by federal investigators who are conducting the probe in Guyana.

Carroll, before his appointment as Economic Affairs Officer was head of the non-immigrant visas section in which position he is accused of having sold the US visas. He was held when he allegedly tried to involve his successor who was cooperating with the federal authorities.

Following the arrest of Carroll and Khan, the embassy here suspended the issue of non-immigrant visas until the investigations into the scale and extent of Carroll's activities have been completed.

A US embassy source has told Stabroek News that the embassy was aware of the inconvenience being caused to Guyanese nationals but the decision to resume the issue of visas would be made in Washington DC. (Patrick Denny)