Fugitive GRA cashier arrested in the US

A traffic stop on Monday evening for an expired registration and illegal tinted windows in upstate New York, found that the driver, Guyanese Gregory Alistair Ewan Barnes, 32, of George Urban Blvd in Cheektowaga, was wanted by Interpol, Cheektowaga police said Friday.

The Buffalo News newspaper reported that a computer check on his licence, revealed there was an active warrant since 2010, through Interpol, on Barnes, who was suspected of embezzling somewhere between $6 million to $300 million in Guyanese dollars – equivalent to between US$29,000 and US$1.4 million – from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Stabroek News newspaper had reported in February 2010 that the Guyana Police Force had sought the assistance of Interpol in its efforts to apprehend Barnes, who was then suspected of embezzling some $6M from the GRA.

Barnes, a GRA cashier and a systems engineer named Garfield Pearson were accused of conspiring to defraud some $6M of tax payments made to the GRA.

 

It was alleged that up to October 2009, Barnes had accepted payments, given the taxpayers their receipts, and then the transactions would be deleted from the computer system before balancing the accounts at the end of the day.

He would allegedly retain some of the cash, but replaced the transactions to facilitate the removal of the goods and after which the transactions would again be removed from the computer system.

The fraud reportedly was detected in October 2009 when Barnes was allegedly caught with over $1M in his possession and had later contacted Pearson to replace the transaction in the computer system.

A forensic auditor was retained by the GRA and had found that the duo had acted together to commit fraud.

Barnes apparently had fled the jurisdiction in 2009 while police were still investigating the matter.

When he was stopped in upstate New York, the warrant was confirmed through US National Central Bureau, a division of Interpol US Department of Justice in Washington DC, Cheektowaga police said.

Barnes was turned over to the US Customs and Border Patrol for a visa violation and may be deported to Guyana, the Buffalo News reported.

Latest in Local News

The ambassadors group with UG Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith (seated fifth from left)

UG needs emergency $$ to prevent collapse

A conference of local and diaspora stakeholders of the University of Guyana (UG) has called on the government to provide emergency funding to the institution to reverse its “imminent collapse”.

Sattaur Gafoor in the temporary office which was set up after the fire

Gafoor’s, insurers in ‘stalemate’ over Houston Complex repairs

There is a “stalemate” between Gafoors and its insurance underwriters over how to proceed on a building that was damaged in the massive fire at the company’s Houston Complex last month but some reconstruction has started.

20160629digicel

Duo stole over $31M in electronics from Digicel

Two men were yesterday charged with stealing over $31 million in electronics belonging to Digicel Guyana Incorporated. Albert De Freitas, 27, and Basdeo Sackoon, 26, appeared before city magistrate Dylon Bess charged with stealing a total of $31,107,510 in items from the telecoms company.

default placeholder

Driver gets one year in jail for causing boy’s death

A man was yesterday sentenced to one year in jail after being found guilty of three offences, including causing the death of an 11-year-old child by dangerous driving.

default placeholder

Gov’t support for city’s financial measures to hinge on transparency, public interest

President David Granger on Monday said that central government’s support for the city’s measures to make itself financial sustainable would rest on transparency and the public’s interest.

default placeholder

Man arrested over ISIS bomb threat at city bank

A man was yesterday morning arrested after he entered a city bank and demanded $10M under the name of Islamic State (ISIS) before threatening to explode a bomb that he claimed he had on him.

default placeholder

‘What’s in the cup, stays in the cup’

People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee says “What’s in the cup stays in the cup,” in response to a question on whether the matter involving PPP/C Member of Parliament (MP), Nigel Dharamlall over threats he allegedly made, has been explained to the party’s satisfaction.

Carlton Beckles

Lethem Council sees agro-processing focus for Industrial Site 

The first municipal council of Lethem, Region Nine sees agro-processing as a key focus for the Lethem Industrial Site. Mayor of the recently commissioned township of Lethem, Carlton Beckles told GINA that the completion of the industrial area, with an emphasis on agro-processing is among priorities that the council has set to accomplish before it demits office.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: