1st of January, 2022. Georgetown, Guyana, South AmericaLast updated: January 1, 2022 at 15:01 pm
This publication has been reliably informed that the director of the Food and Drug Department, Mr. Marlan Cole, has been sent on 3 months administrative leave some time in December, 2021. It is not clear if he will be resuming duties after the three-month period or if he will be replaced, and we were unable to verify the exact reasons for him being sent on administrative leave.
What we do know is that Cole’s corrupt practices, victimization of citizens, and abuse of a government office spans nearly a decade. In 2016, he caused the wastage of 1 container load of plant-based condensed milk imported by Guyanese businessman Rafik Ahmad simply because the Food and Drug Regulations, which was last updated since 1977, did not make provisions for non-dairy milk. At the same time, nothing in the regulations specifically prohibited non-dairy milk. The judge nevertheless ruled in his favor causing the wastage of the entire container load of condense milk. The businessman was at that time represented by current Attorney General, Mr. Anil Nandlall.
In 2018, Marlan Cole lost a court case against Balwant Singh Hospital when he tried to block life-saving drugs from reaching the hospital. The director, the court documents said, would not approve any drug manufactured in India.
In 2021, Marlan Cole supported Carol Edwards, Tristan Jones, Jennel Rodney, and Susanna Atkins when they tried to steal 4 million dollars worth of Brazilian products from a small business owner at Industry Village, Region 4. They seized the products on the premise that they were labeled in a foreign language even though neither the Food and Drug Act nor the Food and Drug Regulations gave them authority to do so.
When the businessman asked them to justify their seizure from the law, they were unable to do so, but said that they would not return the products. The businessman then moved to court, paying over a million dollars in legal fees and waited 6 months for the ruling. The court ruled that the Food and Drug Department acted unlawfully since they had no legal ground to seize the products and ordered them to return the products. Even so, the Food and Drug Department did not issue a formal apology nor did they pay damages or court costs to the businessman.
Cole had indicated to the lawyer of the businessman that he was not aware that the seizure was done, but that he “felt compelled to defend his officers.”
Guyanese of all walks of life must be on the lookout for these parasites occupying government offices and using the office of the government to steal, rob, victimize, and unleash economic terrorism against law-abiding citizens. These are just a few cases we know of, but chances are, many other people may have been victimized by these vultures under the radar because, perhaps, they were unable to represent themselves in court and in the media.
The Guyana Government would be well-advised to pay careful attention to the kind of people it maintains in government offices for the prosperity and well being of the citizens as well as the good name of the government itself.