After being advised on three occasions to complete investigations, seven of the 24 files compiled on a multi-million-dollar fraud allegedly committed by former minister of public service Dr Jennifer Westford and an employee were last week returned to the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) by the police. This was after police would have had the files in their possession for at least two weeks and represented the third sending of files back and forth between the two entities since the investigation was completed in September.
A press statement sent from the DPP chambers said that as of Friday, it was in possession of seven of the 24 police files regarding the investigation of fraud allegedly committed by Westford and Margaret Cummings. The seven files were received at the DPP’s Office on December 9.
The statement informed that on September 7, the Guyana Police Force had initially sent 24 files for legal advice. “After due legal attention was given to these 24 files, these files were returned with legal advice to the GPF because of incomplete investigations,” the statement said.
On October 29, the 24 police files were again sent by the police to the DPP Chambers and again, after due legal attention was given, the 24 police files were dispatched to the GPF on November 24 and November 30, for the police investigations to be completed. Following the unearthing of an unauthorised attempt to transfer the registration of several vehicles belonging to the Public Service Ministry, a decision was taken to conduct an in-depth investigation of the ministry. It was then discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars could not be accounted for.
The figure was initially pegged at $120 million but is now estimated at over $600 million.
The missing money had been transferred from the former Office of the President to allow for the Public Service Ministry to carry out duties in various regions.
Westford and Cummings are currently facing charges as regards the attempted illegal vehicle registration transfer.