The New Building Society (NBS) multi-million dollar fraud case continued last Friday before Magistrate Nyasha Williams-Hatmin with the cross-examination of an audit supervisor.
When the case is called again on March 6, the prosecution is expected to call a new witness and there are at least seven more persons left to enter the witness box.
NBS audit supervisor Atma Rajaram underwent cross-examination by defence counsel Basil Williams.
Two of the defendants declined cross-examination on behalf of their attorneys who were absent from the proceedings, while re-examination was declined by special prosecutor Hukumchand.
Rajaram was testifying in the first of four preliminary inquiries. One other person has given evidence so far.
When the case was called in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, all seven of the defendants were present.
Initially, Director-Secretary Maurice Arjoon, assistant Mortgage Manager Kissoon Baldeo and Operations Manager Kent Vincent were charged with conspiracy to defraud the NBS of $69M. In October 2007, shortly after the matter was brought before the court, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack ordered that the charges be withdrawn against the trio and reinstituted together with charges against Ashley Legall, 59, Imran Bacchus, Amarita Prashad, 18, and Mohanram Shahebudin.
The first charge alleges that on November 20, 2006 Legall, Bacchus and Shahebudin conspired with others to withdraw $20.5M from the Savings and Prosper account in the name of Bibi Khan at NBS by way of two cheques.
The second reads that on November 1, 2006 Legall, Bacchus, Prashad and Shahebudin allegedly conspired with others to withdraw $15M from Khan’s account in the form of two cheques in the name of M. Kryshundayal and Compton Chase respectively.
The third charge states that Bacchus, Legall, Shahebudin, Baldeo and Vincent on November 17 allegedly conspired to withdraw $22,664,000 from Khan’s account by using two cheques, one in the name of M. Hussein and the other, Compton Chase. And the fourth charge reads that on November 8, Arjoon, Vincent, Bacchus, Legall and Shahebudin conspired with others to withdraw $32,230,384 from Khan’s account using two cheques.
Shortly after the reinstitution of the charges, lawyers for the managers filed a motion in the High Court before Justice Jainarayan Singh Jr, asking that the court prohibit the DPP, the Commissioner of Police or any of his servants from reinstituting any new charges against them.
The High Court matter, which was brought by Arjoon, Vincent and Baldeo had earlier delayed the progression of the PI, it was subsequently withdrawn.