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    9th of December, 2021. Region 4, Guyana, South America

    Last updated: December 11, 2021 at 8:24 am

    In a scathing ruling against the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department of Guyana, South America, GA-FDD, the Supreme Court of Judicature ruled that the June 16th seizure of 4 million dollars worth of Brazilian products was ultra-vires and unlawful, and ordered the respondent in the case, Marlan Cole, to release the products with immediate effect.

    Release the Products or Face Imprisonment

    The case was first heard on November 15th, 2021, and then again called to hearing on Thursday, 2nd of December, 2021 when the judge presiding over the matter, Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire, pronounced the ruling. The order was put into writing and officially handed over on Thursday, 9th of December, 2021 compelling Mr. Cole to release the products immediately or face imprisonment.

    Abuse of Government Office: A Clear Attempt to Steal and Rob

    In what this publication views as a clear attempt to steal, rob, and deprive the personal property of another, on the 16th of June, 2021, four officials from the Food and Drug Department, Carol Edwards, Tristan Jones, Jennel Rodney, and Suzanna Atkins, swooped down on the premises of small business owner, Mr. Annandram Persaud, of Industry Village, Region 4, and hastily stuffed over 4 million dollars worth of Brazilian products into their vehicle and took it back to the office of the Food and Drug Department.

    The reason given on the Inspectorate Seizure Form was “foreign language labels.” However, no law or regulation demands that cosmetics must be labeled in English. Further, the businessman explained that he does have English Language translations of all labels on his website: www.brazilianproductsgy.com and in PDF downloadable and shareable format. However, bent on holding on to the products and converting it to their personal use, the officers heartlessly refused to listen or negotiate.

    Carol Edwards subsequently said they would crush and destroy the products after three months if the businessman were unable to meet their demands of translating the labels. At the same time, however, they made the translation of the labels impossible by putting forth an unreasonable demand – that the factory in Brazil write to them a notarized letter authorizing the businessman to translate the labels before such translation can take place.

    Bear in mind that no law nor regulation supports this unreasonable and somewhat impossible demand. It was obviously a clear attempt to frustrate the businessman so that they could steal the products and convert it to their personal use.

    Unlawful as well as Illegal Seizures

    An unlawful seizure is one where the officer enforcing the law misapplied the laws and may be challenged in court. However, an illegal action is one that is purely criminal in nature and is forbidden by law. And that is taking the property of another forcefully as in robbery, theft, or bullyism. When the four officers, Carol Edwards, Tristan Jones, Jennel Rodney, and Suzanna Atkins went to the home of the small business owner that afternoon, they also seized 39 bottles of colognes which had full English translations on the label.

    In other words, they did not check the products before seizing, they hurriedly stuffed everything into their vehicles and took it away. They returned these 39 bottles of illegally seized colognes one week later with an apology after the businessman insisted.

    This action alone is proof that their intentions were not to enforce the law, but to take away the property of another.

    Futile Attempts to Negotiate with the Food and Drug Officials

    For the next few weeks, the businessman, along with his associates in Brazil, attempted to reason with the officials of the Food and Drug Department, explaining to them that they had fulfilled all legal obligations in importing the products into the country – which includes purchasing an import license and paying import taxes on the products. They further tried to explain that they had studied the Food and Drug Regulation as well as the Food and Drug Act but could not find any requirement for English label translations of cosmetics.

    Read Part 5 (Cosmetics) of the Food and Drug Regulations

    Further, the businessmen explained that their website, where customers go to order the products: www.brazilianproductsgy.com, contain all information about the products in the English Language, and they further have a shareable PDF catalog with all label translations in English where necessary. These translations were done by a certified Portuguese/English translator from Brazil.

    Carol Edwards and Marlan Cole, the two chief ringleaders in this crime, refused to cooperate or negotiate or beat a middle path for the release of the products. This is clear case of victimization, spitefulness, and tyranny against Guyanese citizens executed by criminals using a noble government office as cover.

    Do Not Call Back – Frustration and Delay Tactics

    The officials of the Food and Drug Department refused to listen, cooperate, or render any sort of advice or assistance to the businessmen. Instead, they would frustrate the businessmen by hanging up the phone, refusing to answer the phone, claiming to be in a meeting for days on ends – and using other delay tactics. At one point, Marlan Cole specifically told one of the persons who had called to negotiate “not to call back his office,” and on several instances, Carol Edwards slammed the phone down while the person on the other end was talking.

    Move to Court

    The businessman was represented by Attorney Joshua Abdool from Templars Chambers who sent a pre-action letter to the Food and Drug Department on the 5th of August, 2021, blocking the unlawful theft or destruction of the products which was scheduled to take place on the 15th of September, 2021 if the businessman had been unable to retain a lawyer.

    Part of the Pre-Action letter reads:

    Given that the Food and Drug Regulations L.R.O 1/2012 is formulated as it is, and given that the common law principles of statutory interpretation are fundamentally based upon logic, it is ineluctable to conclude that the seizure of items from our client on June 16th is unlawful and ultra vires.

    Notions of common practice when it comes to enforcement of the Food and Drug Regulations L.R.O 1/2012 are absolutely irrelevant. No matter how long the Food and Drug Administration has been authorising unlawful seizures it cannot make those seizures lawful.


    It is however inexpedient to immediately engage the court’s process, some attempt should be made to arrive at an amicable solution.

    In order to do this, we call upon the Food and Drug Administration to officially respond to this letter or ideally, to simply agree with its contents and immediately return the seized products to our client.

    We would greatly appreciate an expedited response to this letter as our client accrues more damages the longer his products are held by the Food and Drug Administration and the subsequent claim, should the seizure be determined to be unlawful by a court of law, grows larger as the products are held. Read Full Pre-action Letter Sent to the Food and Drug Department Here…

    Sticking to their Guns

    Even with everything so clearly spelled out for them, and showing clearly that the officers of the Food and Drug Department acted unlawfully, the director of the Food and Drug Department, Marlan Cole, refused to relent or cooperate and return the products as he was legally obligated to do.

    This forced the continuation of the legal process that resulted in the director of the Food and Drug Department being ordered by the court to release the products to the rightful owner or face imprisonment.

    The Court Order

    IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE JUDICATURE OF GUYANA

    2021-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-1269

    Between:

    Annandram Persaud – Applicant

    and

    Government Analyst Food and Drug Department – Respondent

    BEFORE THE HONORBLE MADAM CHIEF JUSTICE ROXANNE GEORGE.

    DATED THIS 2ND DAY OF DECEMBER, 2021.

    ORDER

    THIS APPLICATION, made by Annandram Persaud, was heard on this 2nd day of December, 2021, at the High Court, Georgetown, Guyana, for:

    a) An order of Madamus to be issued directed to the Respondent compelling them to release units of Brazilian perfumes wrongfully seized from the applicant on the 16th day of June, 2021.

    b) An order of certiorari to be issued directed to the Respondent quashing its decision contained upon the Government Analyst – Food and Drug Inspectorate Seizure Form, issued on the 16th day of June, 2021 and maintained

    in letter dated the 25th day of August, 2021, that the above mentioned seized items are in are in contravention with Food and Drug Act Cap: 34:03 and its supported regulations.

    A declaration that there is no requirement under the Food and Drug Act Cap 34:03 for labels in cosmetic items to be in English.

    Damages for Detinue.

    Any other or further order that this Honorable deems just.

    Costs.

    UPON READING the Fixed Date Application filed on the 15th day of September, 2021, and on hearing the submissions for the Attorneys-at-law for the parties….

    THIS COURT ORDERS that the labels be translated by a recognized translation service in Guyana, with the translation to be affixed on each item of cosmetic. The Respondent may wish to notify the Consumer Protection Commission so that they can take action.

    AND IT FURTHER ORDERED:

    a) An order of Madamus to be issued directed to the Respondent compelling them to release units of Brazilian perfumes wrongfully seized from the Applicant on the 16th day of June, 2021.

    b) An order of certiorari to issued directed to the Respondent quashing its decision contained upon the Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department

    Inspectorate Seizure Form on the 16th day of June, 2021 and maintained in a letter dated the 25th of August, 2021 that the abovementioned seized items are in contravention with Food and Drug Act: Cap: 34:03 and its supporting Regulations.

    A declaration that there is no requirement under the Food and Drug Act Cap: 34:04 for labels on cosmetics items to be in English.

    By the Court

    For Registrar

    If you fail to comply with the terms of this judgement, you will be in contempt of court and may be liable to imprisonment of have your assets confiscated.

    Related:

    The Role of Government Office is to Protect and Serve, Not Terrorize and Rob

    Marlan Cole Demands that Brazilian Factory Write to Him

    Food and Drug Department Seizes Four Million Dollars Worth of Brazilian Products

    Food and Drug Department Admits that they Only Targeted One Man for Foreign Language Labels

    The Guyana Food and Drug Department Will Have to Explain the Following

    Food and Drug Department Says it will Likely Dump and Crush 4 Million Dollars Worth of Brazilian Products Seized from Businessman

    Food and Drug Department Returns 39 Bottles of Illegally Seized Brazilian Products

    Food and Drug Department Had No Legal Grounds to Seize Brazilian Colognes, Matter is Being Investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department

    The Flawed Reasoning of the Food and Drug Department

    Food and Drug Department Unable to Justify Unlawful Seizure of Brazilian Products, Refuses to Return Same

    Pre-action Letter Sent to the Food and Drug Department

    Food and Drug Department Refuses to Furnish Importer with Regulations Document

    Citizens Report Harassment, Extortion, and Victimization by Certain Officials of the Food and Drug Department

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