Public service ministry employees implicated in state cars fraud

Two employees of the Public Service Ministry were on Tuesday sent on leave after it was unearthed that they reportedly forged documents as part of a scheme to transfer state-owned vehicles to certain individuals, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said last evening, adding that the police have since been notified.

Harmon told this newspaper that after the irregularities were picked up on documents which were in the possession of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) the two women were sent on immediate leave so as to facilitate a probe.

The women held senior positions in the ministry.

Stabroek News was unable to ascertain whether police had interviewed the employees.

Harmon said that the ministry had launched an investigation into the transfer of state-owned vehicles to persons. Some of the vehicles, he disclosed are high end and there are about seven vehicles which form part of the investigation.

He said that the matter was taken to the head of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Khurshid Sattaur and the fraudulent documents were subsequently sent to Permanent Secretary Hydar Ally and it was based on this that the employees were sent on leave.

“I would say that the transactions appear to be fraudulent”, he said, adding that none of the employees had the authority to transfer vehicles.

According to Harmon, CID ranks have since collected the documents.

Sources within the ministry told this newspaper that forged sale receipts were given to the GRA on May 19 to show that the vehicles being transferred had been sold.

The receipts it is being claimed were signed by one of the women who is also said to be related to another senior official of the ministry.

According to what this newspaper was told at least three of the vehicles were being transferred to that senior official. Several others were being transferred to a serving member of the Guyana Defence Force, one to a member of the Presidential Guard Service and the others to two other persons, all of whom are said to be close to the senior official.

Sources said too that one of the employees sent on leave moved up the ranks within the Ministry very quickly.




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