Former Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Jagnarine Singh and agricultural consultant Madanlall Ramraj were on Tuesday freed of 16 charges of fraud, which were dismissed by a city magistrate, who found that no case was made out against them.
There were a total of 34 charges brought against Singh and Ramraj by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and they were being tried for 16 of them by Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman.
The matters before Magistrate Latchman alleged that the two men fraudulently took, or applied to their own use and benefit or for any other purpose other than the use of the GRDB, over $9 million, between January 8th, 2010 and January 17th, 2017, at Lots 116 to 117 Cowan Street, Kingston.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the prosecution failed to provide witnesses, including Superintendent of Police attached to SOCU Sheronie James, who was testifying in another SOCU matter in the courtroom of the Chief Magistrate.
As a result, the SOCU prosecutor requested a further date to have their witnesses present. However, objections were raised by attorney Glenn Hanoman, who represented the two men. As Tuesday was the prosecution’s final date to produce witnesses, the magistrate ordered that the prosecution close its case.
Submissions were later made by both the prosecutor and the defence attorney. Magistrate Latchman subsequently ruled that a prima facie case was not established against the duo and dismissed the matters against them.