Ex-GRDB members arrested by SOCU

-to face charges today

Six former members of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) were held for questioning by the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) yesterday afternoon for allegedly omitting to record a “particular inflow of money” and they are expected to face charges today.

According to PPP/C attorney Anil Nandlall, Jagnarine Singh, who was once the GRDB General Manager, PPP/C MP Dharamkumar Seeraj, Ricky Ramraj, Prema Roopnarine, Badrie Persaud and PPP/C MP Nigel Dharamlall were all taken into SOCU’s headquarters on Camp Road for questioning.

After about two hours in the facility, the group was escorted by SOCU officers to Police Headquarters at Eve Leary, where they were fingerprinted and then to the Brickdam Police Station, where they were placed on bail.

After the questioning was completed, none of the six opted to make a comment to the media.

According to Nandlall, who is set to represent some of the six, they are all expected to be charged at the Georgetown Magis-trates’ Courts today.

“They are being charged jointly for failing to make a proper entry into a register of a company or body corporate,” he said.

“I had a look at the charge and, in my humble view, it is absolute harassment; it is frivolous, it is vexatious, it concerns the failure to make certain entries in relation to monies received through a foreign funded project and there is no evidence that this money was missing,” Nandlall added, while refuting the claims that the money was not spent for the intended purpose.

Nigel Dharamlall (at bottom of the stairs) along with some of the others who were questioned leaving the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) headquarters yesterday afternoon.

“The international lending agency would’ve only released monies having been satisfied that the account process and procedures would’ve been complied with and that is because it is a revolving fund and you would get replenishment from that fund at periodic intervals and before you draw on every replenishment you have to satisfy to the international lending agency that your accounting systems are in place and that has been done and the project has been successfully completed,” he explained.

When asked to identify the project, Nandlall said he could not say at the moment.  It is likely the PetroCaribe fund established with Venezuela.

Nandlall added that he was surprised at the specifics of the charge and had expected that it would’ve been along the lines of fraud. “If you subject this kind of scrutiny that they are subjecting these people to, to any department either in the public or private sector, you would have thousands of charges being generated,” he said.

Nandlall charged that the investigation is a waste of tax-payers money, since the matter will be taken to court, take several months and “will never yield in a conviction.” “…A properly advised person charged in these circumstances would be advised to sue the state because this is nothing short of malicious conviction and public harassment of people who are professional people,” he added.

PPP/C MPs Priya Manickchand and Juan Edghill were also present at the SOCU headquarters yesterday.

Comments  

PNC Georgetown District calls on Public Security Ministry, Judiciary for tougher action on crime

The Georgetown District of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) today called for tougher action by the Ministry of Public Security and the Judiciary against crime in the wake of the murder of two elderly women.

Rain hits Divali celebrations in T&T

Moruga/Tableland MP Dr Lovell Francis chats with two of his constituents whose yard was flooded following heavy overnight rains into yesterday.

FBI opens investigation into South Africa’s Guptas – FT

India-born South African businessmen brothers, Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Rajesh Gupta. The Gupta family, one of South Africa’s wealthiest, has been accused of wielding undue influence behind the scenes.

Long term interests should guide award of oil exploration leases -Greenidge

Although government’s advisor on oil and gas, Jan Mangal, has argued that competitive bidding should be employed in the award of future oil exploration leases, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge says such an approach may not benefit Guyana’s interests in the long term.

Cops not focusing on M&CC officials’ failure to report sexual abuse of boy

Police investigators will be focusing on the alleged sexual abuse of a 15-year-old boy committed by a city constabulary officer two months ago and not on the failure of the Mayor of City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown to report the case in a timely manner, ‘A’ Division Commander Marlon Chapman said yesterday.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×