An accountant and a clerk of the Guyana Gold Board were yesterday sent home pending an investigation into allegations of “millions of dollars” in theft through a manipulation of the gold testing system.
Stabroek News was told by sources at the agency that the two were sent home to facilitate an internal investigation as the agency unearthed what it believes was a system designed to manipulate its testing of gold.
Chairman of the Gold Board, GHK Lall confirmed to Stabroek News that two persons were sent home to facilitate an investigation.
“Indeed two employees have been sent home. A press statement will be issued and there is an ongoing investigation,” he said.
It was explained that the Guyana Gold Board does not issue miners with a certificate on the purity of the gold they sell to the agency but conducts an assay that is not 100 percent accurate. Sellers know this and would bring their gold with their own percentage purity. The Gold Board checks independently to verify and if the assay proves that it is higher or lower than stated they would have to either pay the difference or be given a refund on the extra.
The amount in cash totals millions of dollars but some miners never see their refund or are told to pay extra because there is no certifying system at the agency.
“It questions the integrity of the system because miners receive a certificate to say the percentage of the gold when it is fire assay tested. So the accounts staff can tell the people it is 92 percent and it was 94 percent and take that difference. Signifi-cantly, they can tell miners the purity was lower and make them pay back and take the difference,” the Gold Board employee explained.