Minibus driver on bail over embezzlement of $3M in raw gold

A 37-year-old minibus driver was yesterday placed on $300,000 bail after he appeared before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court to answer the charge of fraudulent misappropriation.

It is alleged that between December 11-12 at Lethem, the virtual complainant (VC) Mark Macall entrusted to the accused Suresh Ramnanan 386 grams of raw gold (equivalent to in excess of $3M) which he fraudulently converted  to his own use and benefit.

Ramnanan, a father of two who resides at Lot 21 Plantain Walk, West Bank Demerara, was not required to plead to the indictable charge when it was read to him by Magistrate Sueanna Lovell.

In narrating the police facts to the court, Prosecutor Neville Jeffers said that on the day in question the VC gave a quantity of raw gold to the accused to deliver to another man called Alvin Parag who was in Lethem at the time. The prosecutor said however the man failed to do so.

After stating the facts the prosecution had no objection to bail but asked the court that it be granted in a substantial sum taking  into consideration the value of the article.

Ramnanan was represented by attorney-at-law Vic Puran who made a successful application for bail. He said that his client was given the gold by a Brazilian passenger to keep because the man was about to be searched by the police.

However, he noted that the passenger had returned to Brazil.  Puran further told  the court that his client gave a statement to the police indicating that he saw the VC throwing  a substance out of the window when the bus was stopped by the police. The attorney added  that the VC should have been charged because he cannot give gold to his client to deliver without declaring the amount of gold to  the Gold Board.  The attorney contended that the VC had engaged in an illegal transaction but  he was never charged.

The magistrate subsequently placed the accused on $300,000 bail or like surety.

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