Gajraj urges parents to ensure children attend school
--vows no tolerance for airport thugs

Guyana Chronicle
November 4, 2003

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GINA - Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj is calling on parents to see to it that their children attend school.

The statement came in light of concerns about the children of school-age who converge daily on the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, Guyana's main entry point.

"We notice these children who go out there under the pretext of fetching suitcases for a "small piece" (small sums of cash), soliciting passengers and others to give them monies and other valuables," Gajraj said.

The Minister said that parents seem to condone this practice as they benefit from the "small piece".

He said that parents can and will be prosecuted once their identities can be ascertained. And if the circumstances are appropriate, the children may be sent to the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) on the Essequibo Coast.

During a recent meeting with Police Commissioner (Ag) Mr Floyd McDonald, the officer in charge of security at the Airport and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Airport addressed the issue of thugs at the facility, Mr Gajraj said.

"Apart from children, there are persons who are involved in other illegalities and who sometimes find themselves in restricted areas without proper authority. They may be prosecuted as well," the Home Affairs Minister warned.

Another illegal action that the Police would be tackling is the changing of foreign currency at the Airport, Gajraj said. He said visitors and persons arriving in the country should be cognisant of this illegality and should not condone this.

"Not only the persons who offer to change the money but also the persons who offer the money to be changed would be committing an offence and are liable to be prosecuted," the Minister cautioned. (Government Information Agency)