SOCU seizes GuySuCo laptop as part of NICIL land sale probe

Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) investigators recently seized a laptop computer belonging to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) as part of continuing investigations into properties sold by the National Industrial and Commer-cial Investments Limited (NICIL).

This newspaper was told that the seizure of the laptop from an employee of the Special Purposes Unit overseeing the divestment of some of GuySuCo’s assets was related to the “sourcing of records.”

A source explained that the forensic audit report on NICIL referenced 21 properties which were sold by the entity and as part of investigations into these sales the laptop was seized.

Former Finance Ministers Saisnarine Kowlessar and Dr. Ashni Singh and former NICIL Chief Executive Winston Brassington have been questioned within recent weeks about the sale of state land and property during the PPP/C’s time in government mentioned in the report.

Singh and Brassington have been also jointly charged with three counts of misconduct in public office over the sale of three tracts of government land on the East Coast of Demerara, between December, 2008 and May, 2011. These charges stem from criminal investigations conducted by SOCU into the findings of the NICIL audit.

SOCU’s head Sydney James had previously said there are about 86 separate investigations arising out of the NICIL audit.

Former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran, who conducted the audit in 2015, urged that criminal and/or disciplinary action be instituted against all those responsible for the interception of state revenues totalling $26.858 billion in violation of Articles 216 of the Constitution and the related sections of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act. He also urged criminal and/or disciplinary actions against all those responsible for violating Article 217 of the Constitution by causing expenditure to be incurred out of state resources without parliamentary approval.

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