Energy authority expresses concern over SOCU search warrant

The Board of the Guyana Energy Authority (GEA) today expressed concern over a search warrant executed on it yesterday by the Special Organised Crime Unit. The GEA said that the warranrt was not necessary.

A statement from the GEA follows:

The Board of Directors of the GEA, while respecting the mandate and functions of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), wishes to record its concern over the execution of the highly publicized search warrant at the office of the Guyana Energy Agency, and reiterate the continued cooperation of the GEA in the SOCU investigations currently in process.

The Board further notes for the record and in the interest of transparency, that at no time was the GEA reluctant, unavailable, or uncooperative in the submission and handover of the requested documents. Rather, on receipt of letter dated October 4, 2017 from SOCU to the GEA which requested a list of information, the GEA provided all required documentation within a two week period, save and except for documents and vouchers in excess of two thousand files for which the GEA, in its response, noted the potential impracticality due to its sheer volume and invited the Investigating Team to visit the GEA office at its convenience to review the files in totality. Again, while we respect SOCU’s mandate, we respectfully submit therefore that the search warrant was not necessary in this instance.

Accordingly, recognizing the voluminous nature of the files, the following was communicated to SOCU by letter dated October 19, 2017, ‘With respect to point (d) of your letter…. the documents requested are quite voluminous and are the financial records of the Agency which must be kept for the purposes of audit. Full access to these documents at the GEA’s headquarters will be granted to the investigating team who can be accommodated in the Agency’s boardroom as was done during the course of the forensic audit.’

The Board of Directors is therefore in communication with Head, SOCU, Mr. Sydney James to enquire about the following:

•       About the reported ‘challenges’ faced in obtaining information required.

•       Whether the information provided was sufficient

The Board of Directors wishes to advise that files have been provided and once again reaffirms the cooperation of the GEA in any and all ongoing investigations.

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