No bail for couple accused of Little Diamond housing scam

Balkarran Lillie and Danica Griffith were yesterday charged with defrauding prospective land buyers by pretending they could acquire over two dozen house lots at Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara through the Ministry of Housing.

Lillie, 26, a lab technician for seven years and Griffith, 19, a clothes vendor, formerly of Bartica and who now resides at Lot 23 Seaforth Street, Campbellville, were arraigned on fraud charges before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. They were both denied bail.

It was alleged that on June 5 in Georgetown, with the intent to defraud, they obtained the sum of $250,000, by falsely pretending to Ramkumar Rajban that they were in a position to acquire a house lot at Little Diamond.

It was also alleged that between May 1 and June 5, they obtained the sum of $650,000, by falsely pretending to Beena Stanislaus that they were in a position to acquire a house lot in the same area.

In addition it was alleged that between May 23 and June 30, in Georgetown, with the intent to defraud, they obtained the sum of $380,000 by falsely pretending to Latchmini Manbodh that they were in a position to acquire a house lot in the area.

The prosecution stated that Lillie would contact the virtual complainants and ask if they were interested in purchasing a number of house lots at Little Diamond, while claiming that to them that he knew someone who could get an approval letter from the Ministry of Housing.

Further, the prosecution said Lillie would then take the complainants to the Ministry of Housing and introduce them to Griffith, who would normally be seen coming out of the building and pretended to be a staffer of the said ministry, where payment would be arranged.

Griffith was arrested on Sunday last at a resort and Lillie was arrested the following day at his home.

Attorney Paul Fung-a-Fat, who represented Griffith, appealed for reasonable bail but the prosecution objected, saying that if the defendants were released they will not return for the trial. The prosecution said that there are another 18 charges to be filed against them.

Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry then granted the prosecution’s request and the two were remanded until September 14.

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