Arbitrary search for drugs and guns
Stabroek News
January 11, 2002

Dear Editor,

Recently a police van with seven officers stopped in front of our house, and the officers with guns proceeded to our gate which is normally locked. Wondering what was the matter we immediately went to the gate and asked the officer who was trying to unlock the gate from the outside: "We have received information to search your premises. You are Mr Hans?

I confirmed my name. "You've received information to search my premises for what?" "Drugs and guns!" was the answer from the officer! "So is that right, and on whose authority and whose information can you do that?" I asked. "That we cannot tell you!"

The police officers from the Mahaicony police station were courteous and professional. It took them not very long to "go-through everything". We have no drugs and illegal guns so after a while they left.My question is: "Can the police just raid any family home, without authority or a written search warrant" just because they "had received some information from someone?" This does not seem like law and order, more like law and someone's ordering.

Yours faithfully,

Hans T. Machielse

Editor's note:

The National Security Act used to give the police power to search for firearms without a warrant but that has been repealed. However, under the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act the police from a certain rank up can search without a warrant for drugs. That officer could be in the search party without entering the premises.