Still no word from DPP on GuyFlag scam special prosecutor

Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton yesterday set July 22 as the date for the continuation of the trial into the US$2 million GuyFlag insurance scam, stressing that the court cannot continue adjourning the matter while it awaits word from the DPP on the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Fred SukhdeoAt yesterday’s calling in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, Hamilton spoke out about the delays the case was suffering as a result of the DPP.

The case has been stalled for months after attorneys-at-law Gino Persaud and Nigel Hughes acting on behalf of the church wrote to the DPP on several occasions requesting that a special prosecutor be appointed to handle the matter.

Prior to the first letter being written in November last, the case was moving at a snail’s pace.

When the case was called yesterday, Hamilton inquired about a reply from the DPP. Persaud who was present said that neither he nor the Bishop at the Church has received any word from the chambers.

The police prosecutor also reported that they too have not received any word.

The magistrate then said that she will have to proceed to with the case as she cannot continue adjourning it.

Sukhdeo, who was charged in relation to the scam, was present in court yesterday.

It is alleged that on December 29, 2004, Sukhdeo, with intent to defraud forged a document purporting to be a GuyFlag fire and perils claim for US$2 million ($400 million) for the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. He is also accused of trying to obtain the said sum of money by virtue of a forged fire and perils claim form. According to the facts of the case, GuyFlag submitted a bogus claim for payment to its reinsurance agent AON Re and Sukhdeo, who was the head of the sister operation, the National Cooperative Credit Union Limited, was presented as a representative of the church dealing with the fire.

It was when GuyFlag/Sukhdeo allegedly approached a claims adjuster here that the alleged scam was discovered.

The alleged mastermind was arrested on November 17, 2005 and placed on $50,000 station bail.

He was charged in March of the following year with forgery and endeavouring to obtain upon a forged document and he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on March 21. He was released on $75,000 bail on that occasion.

Since the trial was set in the latter part of 2006, there have been several delays.

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