The five men implicated in the Mortice Mandir scam appeared at the Weldaad Court yesterday before Magistrate Roby Benn with one entering a guilty plea and being fined $35,000.
Stabroek News has been unable to ascertain which one of the five pleaded guilty. The four others pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of $50,000 each. They are scheduled to return to court on May 9.
Reports are that the men Aamir Hussein, Azad Alli, Paul Jhandoo, Patrick Jhandoo, and Brian Jhandoo, all of Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara went to the home of Amarnauth Sookram and obtained $2,000 under false pretence.
The man who pleaded guilty told the court that he “brought the others and they were innocent.”
Police Prosecutor, Inspector Grace Bristol objected to bail on the grounds that similar matters were still being investigated against the men and that more charges are likely to be laid.
She submitted too that if granted bail the men may not attend their trial.
Reports are that a resident of Mahaicony happened to be at Sookram’s residence at the time and became suspicious. He contacted members of the mandir who indicated that there was no collection going on.
He was also instructed to make a note of the registration number of the black Toyota Raum, PNN 1812 that the men were using and to inform the police.
Police recovered a number of used receipt books that are yet to be tabulated. One of the books with Wednesday’s date showed that the men collected some $38,000.
A flyer and a letter seeking help and signed by a ‘Lilian Persaud,’ claiming to be the secretary and a fake rubber stamp were also recovered.
It was also observed that the village was spelt as ‘Mortis,’ and the lot number was given on one place as ‘127’ and on another as ‘27.’
Members first learnt of the scam from a resident of Success who had given a ‘donation.’ They are also asking other persons who had given donation and were issued a receipt to visit the police stations in their areas.