The finance controller of the Princess Hotel was held with nearly $3 million (US$14,000) yesterday morning, minutes before he was scheduled to leave the country on a Delta Airlines flight bound for New York, the police have said.
The man, who is a Turkish national, was assisting police with their investigations up to press time last night, even as the management of the hotel denied any knowledge of his arrest.
Stabroek News has since learnt that the money belonged to the hotel and it was management that alerted the police.
Crime Chief Seelall Persaud yesterday afternoon confirmed the arrest, saying that the man is in custody after he was found with an amount of US dollars. He did not reveal a quantum but later told this newspaper that the man was arrested at the airport, based on a report.
According to Persaud, the man was preparing to leave the country on an early morning flight when he was held. When this newspaper contacted the hotel’s assistant general manger, the man claimed that he did not know anything.
He said that he had heard that the official was held at the airport but did not know more. He then asked this newspaper to make contact with him in two to three hours’ time when he would have more information. However when this newspaper called back he still maintained that he did not know anything about the matter. Asked if the official was in police custody, he said that he did not know.
Stabroek News was reliably told that following the arrest staff members were warned not to say anything about the matter. The official, said to be in his 50s, has been employed at the hotel for the past two months.