Guyana news, breaking updates and in depth reports covering crime, politics, education, health and the environment for Georgetown, other towns and rural areas.

Thief thanks court for jail sentence

Magistrate Fazil Azeez on Wednesday sentenced a repeat-offender who admitted to stealing several items on two separate occasions to three years imprisonment when he appeared at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court.

Prosecuting for ganja costs $40,000 per case

Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee said 421 persons were successfully prosecuted for possession of marijuana at a cost of $40,000 each during the period 2005-2006.

PI into high profile murders put off

Preliminary inquiries into several high profile murders have been put off until next month for the prosecution to seek assistance from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Drug gang linked to Roger Khan on trial in Suriname

The trial of several suspects said to be connected with drug-indicted Guyanese businessman Roger Khan resumed this week in a court in Suriname, according to a report from Caribbean Net News in Paramaribo.

Nine flee from Mazaruni jail

Nine prisoners broke out from the high security Mazaruni Prison yesterday and four members of a joint services search party were later shot during a confrontation with the inmates.

Sattaur criticises PNCR-IG VAT statements

Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Khurshid Sattaur says the statements that the main opposition PNCR-1G made regarding the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) are careless and ill-informed.

Private sector deeply concerned over VAT-led price hikes

The Private Sector Com-mission (PSC) yesterday expressed deep concern over the VAT-led increase in prices and pointed to suggestions to ease the problem but Com-missioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Khurshid Sattaur says he is not prepared to support these including one to lower the 16% rate.

Arson suspected in GECOM blaze

The Guyana Fire Service suspects arson in the case of the mysterious fire which gutted the Guyana Elections Commission secretariat building on September 9 last year.

Local government polls before new voters list?

The Guyana Elections Com-mission (GECOM) is yet to decide whether it will embark on preparations for the local government polls before establishing a new voters’ list.

VAT corner

From Monday, Stabroek News will be carrying a VAT corner where questions relating to the implementation of the new tax will be answered by Ram and McRae.

Kerik not hired thus far

Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee says that former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has thus far not been hired or contracted as a consultant in relation to law enforcement here.

Pick-up to boost city council’s work

The government has donated a service pick-up to the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to boost its capacity to enforce the city’s by-laws.

Controversial proviso to MPs pay order revoked

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh has presented an Order to revoke a controversial proviso that would have blocked salary increases for parliamentarians who did not give their written consent to them.

EU `cushion’ for sugar price cut still to be disbursed

Guyana and other sugar producers in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping are still to receive the 40 million euros from the European Union to cushion the effects of the price cut in sugar on the European market.

Caribbean Cabinet Ministers tour Skeldon sugar factory

Agriculture Ministers and other representatives involved in the sugar industry from Jamaica, Belize, Barbados and Belgium were taken on a visit yesterday to the construction site of the modern Skeldon sugar factory by Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud.

Woman, accomplice stick-up driver, steal cash, car

The Guyana Police Force has reiterated that women are becoming popular decoys in the commission of robberies after another woman was involved in the hijacking of a car from a taxi-driver.

Hubu goat farmer says dogs killing his herd

A Hubu, East Bank Essequibo farmer is calling on the police to take action against the owners of a number of vicious dogs that roam the backlands and attack his herd.

Love triangle man remanded over eight charges

A man who is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend over a period of two years, as well as stealing and damaging property belonging to her, was yesterday refused bail by Magistrate Melissa Robertson-Ogle at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

Constable narrowly escapes perjury sentence

It was an unforgettable day for Constable Forde at the Wales Magistrate’s Court yesterday when Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton remanded him to prison for perjury and ordered him to sit on the prisoners’ bench.

Power theft tackled effectively in the last quarter of 2006 -GPL

The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) says that the last quarter of 2006 was very eventful in the fight against electricity theft and that this year the focus will continue to be loss reduction measures in problem areas as the Unserved Areas Electrification Programme (UAEP) is still under threat.

Carjacker held with gun

Police arrested a man who was in possession of a firearm on Wednesday on the East Bank of Demerara following an attempted robbery foiled by the intended victim.

Controversial health bill sent to committee

The Health Facilities Licensing Bill which was scheduled for a second reading in the National Assembly yesterday was referred to a select committee instead in the wake of deep concerns by health care professionals.

Some businesses reporting major VAT drop in sales

Regent Street and downtown Georgetown seemed less busy than usual this week and some businesses blame low consumer spending on the Value Added Tax (VAT) which has tacked on 16% to prices in the majority of cases.

Union leaders trade jabs over unity

General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) Lincoln Lewis has accused his Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU) counterpart Grantley Culbard of undermining the leadership of the GTUC.

Collymore hospitalised

Former Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development Clinton Collymore was yesterday admitted to the Georgetown Hospital after complaining of chest pains.

Casino bill rolls on

The government last night forged ahead with plans for the controversial casino gambling bill despite a raft of challenges yesterday which included protests outside Parliament, a petition signed by 40,000 and an opposition motion seeking to have a study done on possible impacts.

NA hospital store robbed again

One month after bandits broke into Aaron & Son Jewellery Establishment on Main Street, New Amsterdam and carted off $1.2M in gold and silver jewellery they again invaded the store a few nights ago.

Bill to turn screws on scrap metal trade passed

A bill to amend to the Old Metal Dealers Act was passed yesterday in the National Assembly giving sweeping powers to the Prime Minister to halt the export of scrap metal if deemed necessary.

Prison population last month 1,955

The prison population as of December 1, 2006 was 1,955 and 170 prisoners were incarcerated in the Georgetown prison for the capital offence of murder.

Double murder trial gets underway

A day after the Demerara January Assizes opened, a man is on trial in the High Court for allegedly killing two teenagers at Enterprise Squatting area four years ago.

Govt to withdraw MPs pay hike order

The government is to withdraw a controversial Order that would have withheld pay increases from Members of Parliament unless they gave written agreement to them.

Dr Luncheon treated at hospital after fall

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon spent several hours in hospital yesterday after he fell in his office and aggravated a chronic back ailment.

VAT sees slump in sale of local meats

Increases in the price of meat due to VAT have seen consumers cutting back on purchases and producers are worried as sales fall.