Rice company secretary charged with 15 counts of fraud over rent collection

Secretary of the Alesie Guyana Rice company Salim Jairam was yesterday arraigned on fraud charges at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, after being accused of misusing rent that was collected on behalf of another man.

Jairam, 32, of Lot 241 Second Field, Cummings Lodge, pleaded not guilty to 11 summary charges of fraudulent conversion. He was not required to plead to four others that were indictable.

Magistrate Priya Beharry presided over the cases.

Jairam denied that between May 1, 2007 and July 7, 2010, being solely entrusted during this period with a total sum of $1,105,000 in rent that he collected from Peter Lester, Joseph Carpen and Sharon Ann Khan to deposit into account of their landlord, Joseph Morgan, he fraudulently converted it to his own uses.

His lawyer, Mishka Puran, applied for reasonable bail on the grounds that Jairam had no previous brushes with the law and that he posed no risk of flight. She stated that her client had been the secretary of the rice company just over a year now and his relationship with his employer has been good. Prosecutor Stephen Telford made no objections to the bail application but asked that it be a substantial amount. He explained that Morgan is the owner of a building with several rooms that he rents in Thomas Street, Kitty.

He noted that Morgan lives overseas and that Jairam is the person who would collect the rent for him and deposit it into his bank account. However, on May 19, 2010, Morgan allegedly made contact with the bank and was told that he had no money in his account.

Telford said that soon after Morgan came to Guyana and discovered that his tenants did indeed gave Jairam their monthly rent but that he had been converting it to his own uses.

The magistrate placed Jairam on $360,000 bail and ordered a further hearing in Court Ten on September 28.


Firm for Demerara crossing study not picked via tender

Following an opposition request for an investigation into the award of the contract for the feasibility study and design for the new Demerara River crossing to LievenseCSO, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure last night said that the Dutch firm was selected after the initial procurement process was annulled and it sought out consultants worldwide.

Cash-strapped GuySuCo to sell land to CH&PA

Facing a cash crunch, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be selling land to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced yesterday, while noting that the corporation has sought a bailout to the tune of $2 billion.

Children to be given priority in post-hurricane evacuation efforts

Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix yesterday announced that priority will be given to children in evacuation efforts organized by the Guyana Government to assist Guyanese who remain on hurricane-affected islands, as there remains the risk of an epidemic in some cases.

Four years’ jail for woman nabbed with cocaine at CJIA

A 59-year-old woman was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison and fined $6.5 million after she pleaded guilty to the possession of five pounds of cocaine, which she was trying to sneak on board a flight to New York.

Constitutional compliance needed, not reform – Nandlall

At present the need for constitutional compliance trumps the need for constitutional reform in Guyana.

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