A construction worker, who is wanted in Canada for a series of charges including attempted murder, was one of two men jointly charged in a city court yesterday with conspiracy to forge documents and uttering forged documents.
Benvolio Valenski, also known as “Roy Anthony Sewnarine,” 27, and Ganesh Singh, 33, were brought before Magistrate Clive Nurse, who read the charges to them.
It is alleged that between February 1st and September 2nd, 2019, at Georgetown, with intent to defraud, they conspired to forge a Guyana driver’s licence in favour of Roy Anthony Sewnarine, purporting to show same was issued by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and knowing same to be false.
It is also alleged that on the same date and at the same location, the defendants conspired with Valenski to forge a Guyana identification card in favour of Sewnarine, purporting to show same was issued by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Valenski was also read two separate charges which allege that on September 2, at the Central Immigration and Passport Office, with intent to defraud, he uttered to woman police constable 21691 Towanna Crandon-Primo, an immigration officer, a forged Guyana identification card, in favour of himself, purporting to show that same was issued by GECOM.
The final charge against the accused alleges that on the very date, for the purpose of procuring a new passport, Valenski made a false statement, that is to say, he signed a written declaration that he was Roy Anthony Sewnarine, knowing same to be false.
Not guilty pleas were entered by each defendant.
Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield told the court that in relation to the conspiracy charges, on September 2nd, Valenski went to the Central Immigration and Passport Office and applied for a passport using a birth certificate and identification card in favour of Sewnarine. The documents were presented to Constable Crandon-Primo, who examined same and observed the identification card to be forged. Valenski was later arrested and escorted to the Criminal Investigation Department.
Mansfield added that the defendants are known to each other and that Valenski resided in the United States for eight years. In January 2019, Valenski came to Guyana and he met with Ganesh and told him that he needed a birth certificate, identification card and licence. Arrangements were then made, which resulted in Valenski giving Ganesh $200,000 and a passport size photograph of him (Valenski). Ganesh later handed over a birth certificate, identification card and driver’s licence, all in the name Roy Anthony Sewnarine, to Valenski. On September 2, Valenski went to the Central Immigration and Passport Office, where he used the documents given to him by Ganesh to apply for a passport. The documents were examined and discovered to be forged. Valenski was later arrested.
While Valenski was granted his release on a total of $300,000 bail, Ganesh was released on $200,000 bail.
Both men are expected to make their next court appearance before the Chief Magistrate on September 11th.
An online search for Valenski’s name by this newspaper revealed an Interpol Red Notice. Such notices, issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence, are requests to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action, for the accused.
Further searching revealed that Valenski is wanted in relation to several charges, namely, attempted murder, possession of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon, use of a firearm during the commission of an indictable offence, discharge of a firearm with intent to wound, endangering life, conspiracy to commit murder, occupying a motor vehicle with a firearm and failure to comply with a recognisance.
On its website, Canadian radio station CFNY-FM said Valenski is wanted in connection with a shootout which occurred near Walpole and Greenwood avenues in Toronto on January 4th.
Steven Karapetrov, 25, of Toronto, was arrested and charged in relation to the matters.