New book looks at Thomas Carroll visa racket

New book looks at Thomas Carroll visa racket

A U.S Professor and writer who has followed the happenings at the U.S Diplomatic  missions across the globe has released a new book revisiting what U.S authorities have described as “the worst visa racket in U.S State Department history”, the Thomas Carroll visa racket in Guyana. The book is titled “The Thomas Carroll Affair. A Journey the cottage industry of Illegal Immigration”. It was written by David Casavis.

Thomas Carroll was the Vice Consul at the U.S Embassy in Georgetown in the late 1990’s. He was charged in the year 2000 in connection with the visa racket  and sentenced to jail. The racket involved a number of high-profile Guyanese. Businessmen, politicians, police officers and hardened criminals all formed part of the visa racket ring. Visas would be sold to persons for as much as US$10,000 and by the time the Thomas Carroll ring was smashed, it is believed it may have amassed over US$10 Million from the fraudulent sale of US visas.

According to the author of the new book David Casavis, the book “is the story of a Bandit, a Priest, a Renegade and the inferno that engulfed a country nobody knew nor cared about.”

The author goes on to describe Guyana as a small corrupt country and how an American Embassy official looted it. The book traces the entire saga and the many problems it triggered. It recalls the stories of how persons involved in drug running and the criminal world were able to be granted visas and travel to the United States without ever being noticed. It also highlights the state of Guyana at the time and the number of Government officials and Guyana state employees who found themselves caught up in the entire visa racket as middlemen, collectors and in some cases even henchmen.

The stories of how criminals were used to enforce the racket and keep an eye out for those who may want to block its progress. The book reports that when Thomas Carroll came to Guyana, he already had a shawdowy past with questions surrounding him about monetary exchanges for visas, still he was allowed to move to a tropical South American country and begin a new racket that would haul in millions of U.S dollars.

The writer tells the story of how the embassy official had a special “gang” that would prepare the application papers for many of the criminals and drug runners who were applying for visas. “Carroll regularly admitted criminals and security risks into the United States. Drug traffickers, money launderers, alien smugglers, and more beat a path to Carroll’s door. No one knew who Carroll let into the United States because he was a good FSO. He shredded all the evidence. He did so regularly”, the author writes in the book.

The book also highlight the links between wanted man Linden Blackie London and the infamous Black clothes squad of the Guyana Police Force and their links to the visa racket. Blackie was controversially shot down in a hail of gunfire during a police stand off and the black clothes squad was eventually disbanded. Many of its members were linked to the criminal underworld and the visa racket.

The author writes about how the investigation began and how it was kept away from the Guyana government and Guyana officials at the time as the U.S tracked the multi million dollar visa racket. In the book, the writer praises the work of Guyanese journalists Enrico Woolford, Bert Wilkinson and the late Patrick Denny for their work in pursuing what is considered one of the biggest visa racket stories involving US government workers.

The book is the most comprehensive compilation on the visa racket. It was released in early June. It is currently available on and the author considers it one of his best works.

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