by Denis Chabrol (Demerara Waves) The United States (US) has formally refused to share any information about the reason for seizing the mobile phone of Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mae Toussaint Jr.- Thomas, but pointed to standard reasons for checking on incoming passengers.
Her phone was taken away by US Customs Border and Protection (CBP) agents on her arrival in the US en route to China. The Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Elisabeth Harper sought to enquire from the US the reason for confiscating Ms Toussaint Jr.-Thomas’ phone but was told that nothing could be provided.
“We do not have any specific information to share,” US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Adrienne Galanek told Ms Harper on Friday in response to an enquiry hours after an enquiry appeared in the Stabroek News. Sources said the American Embassy’s correspondence merely reproduced standard CBP reasons for conducting secondary checks on all incoming foreigners and American citizens. “If CBP officers at a port of entry need more information to determine your admissibility into the US; you may be directed to an interview area known as secondary inspection,” the document states.