Jamaicans arrested outside Celina Resort fly out
Stabroek News
April 12, 2007

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The three UK-based Jamaicans who had said their holiday in Guyana was spoilt when a vehicle with heavily armed policemen descended on them over a parking issue at the Celina Atlantic Resort left the country the day they were to appear in court.

A friend of the men told Stabroek News (SN) that the men left the country on Tuesday, the same day they were told to appear in the Georgetown Magistrate's Court, and without their $5000 bail money.

The friend said the vehicle the men were driving on Saturday night was returned on Sunday after the insurance was shown to officers at Brickdam.

The friend also said that while the men were happy that their experience was highlighted in the media there was no official response about the way they were treated.

The men, Vytal Findley, E.L Corlis and R Benjamin had told SN that they were forced to drive their car to the Brickdam Police Station where they spent several hours and never left until around 2 am on Sunday.

They also said they were forced to walk to the park where they hired a car. The men had travelled to Guyana for the Cricket World Cup matches after viewing the first round in Jamaica. They went to the Celina Atlantic Resort in Kitty after a day spent at the stadium and were having some drinks when someone told them their car was being towed away. When they investigated the men said they were told that they were parked in a no-parking area although they said no such signs were displayed and other cars were parked in the area.

The men said while they were explaining to the officer that there were no signs, and that they were not from Guyana so they could not have known that they could not park at that spot, a vehicle filled with policemen armed with high-powered weapons drove up.

"I said to myself 'My God, what have we done? We are not terrorists, there is no need for this," Findley had told this newspaper. The man said he was traumatised by the presence of the armed officers as he had never before been that close to high-powered weapons.

There has been an ongoing problem with parking in front of the Resort and the management had constructed a parking area but it was later declared illegal and the police had begun to tow away vehicles parked there.

However, last December, two government ministries had held Christmas parties at the resort and government officials and members of the police force and army were allowed to park there and no action was taken against them.