GRA ready to prosecute ex-cashier for allegedly embezzling $300M

– Sattaur

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is ready to prosecute former cashier Gregory Alistair Ewan Barnes, accused of embezzling hundreds of  millions, when he returns to Guyana after legal proceedings in the United States of America, GRA Commis-sioner-General Khurshid Sattaur said yesterday.

After a traffic stop in upstate New York on February 24 for expired registration and illegal tinted windows, a computer check on Barnes’ licence revealed there was an active warrant through Interpol for his arrest since 2010. Barnes is suspected of embezzling somewhere between $6 million to $300 million from the GRA.Sattaur told reporters yesterday that after Barnes faces legal proceedings in the US and returns to Guyana, the GRA will ensure he is charged by the police. “Hopefully get back our money too,” Sattaur added.

In 2010, the Guyana Police Force sought assistance from Interpol in efforts to apprehend Barnes, who was at the time suspected of embezzling some $6M from the GRA.

However, Sattaur yesterday stated the embezzled amount to be approximately $300M.

Barnes, a GRA cashier and a systems engineer, Garfield Pearson were both accused of defrauding the money received from tax payments to GRA. Barnes reportedly fled Guyana while the matter was being investigated in 2009.

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


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