Statistics reveal that a 6% increase in serious crime has been recorded for this year unto Monday May 18, 2015, in comparison to the same period in 2014.
The serious crimes include Murder, Robbery under Arms, Robbery with Violence, Robbery with Aggravation, Larceny from the Person, Break and Enter and Larceny, Burglary, Rape and Kidnapping.
60 murders have been recorded for this year unto May 18, 2015, in comparison to 56 for the similar period last year, an increase of 7%.
Unto May 18, 2015, Robbery under Arms overall has decreased by 15% in comparison to the same period in 2014. The statistics indicate an 18% decrease in the number of Armed Robberies involving the use of firearms and an 11% decrease in Armed Robbery where instruments other than firearms were used by the perpetrators.
The offence of Rape has shown an increase of 70% unto May 18, 2015, in comparison to the same period in 2014, while Burglary has decreased by 11%.
Investigations are continuing into the murder of Ramesh Puran who was shot and killed during and Armed Robbery at Belvedere Squatting Area, Berbice, on May 14, 2015.
Three men have been arrested and questioned by the police. Two of them have since been released as the investigations continue.
Investigations are also continuing into the murder of Sean Anyes of “D” Field, Sophia, who was shot and killed during an Armed Robbery at his home on May 01, 2015.
A man had been arrested and questioned by the police and later released. The investigations are continuing.
In relation to Traffic unto yesterday May 20, 2015, there have been 41 road fatalities from 32 accidents compared to 43 road fatalities from 40 accidents during the similar period in 2014.
Congnisant of the prevailing rains, the Guyana Police Force is urging motorists and other road users to exercise greater care and attention as they use the roadways.
The statistics in relation to the offences of murder and robbery under arms at the end of June 2015 with corresponding statistics for the same period in 2014 are attached.
At the end of June 2015 the Guyana Police Force recorded a 9% increase in serious crimes in comparison to the same period in 2014.
Among the serious crimes policed by the Force are murder, robbery under arms, robbery with violence, robbery with aggravation, larceny from the person, break and enter and larceny, burglary, rape, and kidnapping.
A total of 79 murders were recorded at the end of June 2015 in comparison to 69 murders at the end of June 2014, an increase of 14%.
Unto the 10th of this month, July 2015, 1other murder has been recorded.
At the end of June 2015 robbery under arms overall has decreased by 6% in comparison to the same period in 2014. The statistics indicate a decrease of 9% in the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms; while the number of armed robberies where instruments other than firearms were used by the perpetrators is almost similar.
There has been an increase of 74% in the number of reports of rape with 207 reports at the end of June this year compared to 119 for the same period last year. Break and Enter and Larceny and Burglary have shown an overall increase of 9%.
Unto the end of June this year, a total of 61 illegal firearms have been recovered by the police comprising 1 sub-machine gun, 35 pistols, 14 revolvers, 4 shotguns, 6 rifles and 1 pen-gun.
The Police Force is continuing in its efforts aimed at crime prevention through its police-community partnership programme, along with social crime prevention interventions in the Policing Divisions, with special emphasis on empowering youths.
During last month in “A” Division (Georgetown/East Bank Demerara) two more Youth Clubs were established in the Division at Golden Grove, EBD, and Soesdyke, EBD, comprising 59 youths and 45 youths, respectively. With the support of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) the police donated hundreds of pairs of shoes to students of schools in the Albouystown area including the Selma Fraser and Albouystown Nursery Schools; and ranks conducted a cleanup exercise around the Kitty Market and the Shaheed Boys Orphanage.
Also, the Police Division, with assistance from the Guyana Football Federation, held a one-day Under 15 Football Tournament for members of the Police Youth Groups with the aim of creating social cohesion among them.
In “B” Division (Berbice) the police in collaboration with the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, the Region 6 Ministry of Education Department and Edward Beharry Company Limited launched a campaign entitled “Say no to drugs/suicide and yes to education/sports” which targets youths from various Primary and Secondary schools with the aim of assisting them to lead a more productive lifestyle.
The Police and the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club also, in a joint project, donated school bags to a number of less fortunate students and members of the Force were involved in a community cleanup exercise at Hopetown, West Coast Berbice.
The police in “D” Division (West Demerara/East Bank Essequibo) through their community outreach C-PETS Project (Creating Positive Environments Through Safer Communities) has enabled over one hundred youths to become enrolled at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre where they will be pursuing skills training in several areas including plumbing, welding, information technology, carpentry and auto mechanic. The police are also assisting some of the youths with their transportation arrangements.
“E” Division (Linden/Kwakwani) exposed a number of youths attached to the various police youth clubs to a workshop which focused on educating them about drug addiction and the harmful effects of illegal drugs as well as cooking classes.
A Youth Club was launched at Agatash/Dogpoint Village, Essequibo River, with some 38 youths in “F” Division (Interior Locations) and in collaboration with the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Bartica the police were involved in a workshop for youths of the community where areas such as teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and child abuse were dealt with.
In keeping with this thrust the Guyana Police Force will be conducting Medical Outreach Programmes in the communities of Albouystown, Georgetown, and Bath, West Coast Berbice, during this month as it celebrates its 176th Anniversary.
During June 2015 there was a total of eighteen interventions supported by the religious community in the Cops and Faith Community Network which treats with juvenile first offenders for minor crimes as a preemptive intervention to the New Opportunity Corps.
Since the launch of the Cops and Faith Community Network in September 2013 and unto June 30, 2015, there has been a total of 174 such interventions. In all cases the youths were counseled by the religious leaders and following the involvement of parents/guardians, and the victims where necessary, the majority of them were warned and sent away.
In relation to the Family Liaison for victims of serious crimes and domestic violence project, which is also under the Cops and Faith Community Network, there were interventions by members of the religious community in response to several cases of serious crimes including armed robbery and murder where the affected persons, victims and relatives, were counseled.
In relation to traffic 56 road fatalities from 45 accidents have been recorded at the end of June 2015, in comparison to 57 fatalities from 52 accidents for the same period in 2014.
There have been decreases in all other categories of road accidents – serious, minor and damage.
Pedestrians has been the main category of road users affected so far in road fatalities with 17 such persons having lost their lives at the end of June 2015. In addition 5 pedal cyclists, 16 persons in motor vehicles, 8 motor cyclists, 8 drivers, 1 pillion rider and 1 person who was being towed on a bicycle also lost their lives.
Speeding has been the major contributory factor to fatal accidents, having been the cause of 22 of the 45 fatal accidents unto June 2015.
Traffic enforcement by the police has resulted in a total of 26,390 cases being made against errant motorists at the end of June 2015; of this total 11,168 cases were for speeding, 770 for driving under the influence of alcohol, 328 for using cell phone while driving and 764 for failing to wear seat belt.
To date there has been 2 road fatalities for July 2015.
The Guyana Police Force is taking the opportunity to caution motorists who drive close behind other motor vehicles on the roadways (tailgating) and which has resulted in a number of accidents. Remember to apply the principle of thinking distance and braking distance – the faster the rate of speed, there is the need to be further away from the vehicle ahead. Motor cyclists and pillion riders are reminded to wear their safety helmets at all times.
Parents and guardians are also reminded to be extra vigilant in ensuring that children use the roadways carefully and that they do not play near to or on the roadways, especially during this school holidays period.
Vice President and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, on Saturday morning, took a salute from junior and senior ranks of the Guyana Police Force as the entity kick started activities to celebrate its 176th anniversary of serving the public, at a time when domestic crime is spiraling out of control.
Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan
Ramjattan, decked out in a suit, took the salute as ranks marched pass the Public Security Ministry of Public Security on Brickdam. Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud received also his salute on Young Street, Eve Leary. The parade, which was led by Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken, moved off from Police Headquarters, Eve Leary at 06:00h heading east onto Young Street, south onto Parade Street, east onto Lamaha Street, south onto Waterloo Street, east onto Regent Street, south onto Camp Street, west onto Brickdam, north onto Avenue of the Republic, east onto Church Street, north back onto Camp Street, west to Young Street and back to the Police Headquarters. The route march featured ranks from all divisions, while the resources of the force such as their tools of trade are placed on display. Ramjattan joined in the celebrations which will continue through the month of July with several activities aimed at highlighting the gains made by the Police Force here since its establishment. Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud recommitted the Guyana Police Force towards tackling the scourge of crime, telling ranks following the march that the time for excuses was over as more and more resources were becoming available to the entity to make Guyana safer. He called on ranks to become more professional and accountable as they execute their constitutional and lawful manner, as he underscored the urgent need for policemen to rid the society of elements and individuals which have no interest in abiding by the laws of the country. Persaud took time out to congratulate the serving members of the force for their performance during the past elections period, which he said was a “critical” time. He expressed the view that the ranks performed well and got through the period which proved to be very trying if one considers all that took place. The Police Commissioner made these comments despite the fact that the crime rate sky rocketed under his tenure during the first half of the year. Additionally, the Commissioner failed to directly address the concerns of the public about the hike in crimes over the past few weeks, despite assurances from Minister Ramjattan that the Government and the Police had embarked on a “strategic” approach to fighting crime. In fact, following public pressure, Minister Ramjattan admitted that to solve the current crime situation a herculean effort was needed, admitting also that the new Government may have underestimated the weight and gravity of the situation before gaining access to office. Back in 2011 and 2012, Minister Ramjattan, who was an opposition politician, had severely criticised the then Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee for not doing enough to control the crime rate in the country. Ramjattan had lambasted Rohee and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic for failing the people and not being able to properly administer his responsibilities as security Minister. It’s just two months now that Ramjattan has been appointed as Guyana’s Public Security Minister and already he is facing the same criticisms as Rohee from an inpatient citizenry anxious to relish the joy of a safe and secure society. Thus far, there have been over 25 murders recorded since the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Government took office. Several murders are still unsolved and, even with recent shift around of senior police ranks, the Government said it is hoping to solve them as soon as possible. One of the most recent shooting is that at Nandy Park where known criminal Travis Rudder’s body was riddled with bullets, while his 18-month-old son and girlfriend injured. The Police claimed that that they are working with leads but they have failed to arrest anyone in connection with the murder of the young man and the attempted murder of the others. Only on Saturday morning, the Police highlighted that Charles Caesar, 40 of Line Path, Skeldon was found at on the foreshore at No. 66 Village, Corentyne, with a suspected gunshot injury. In addition, they have reported that four men armed with firearms entered a house at Bush Lot, Corentyne, and held up several occupants and took away a total of $100,000 and a quantity of jewellery. A teenager also was shot and injured as the gunmen discharged a cartridge when they were leaving to ward off persons who might want to go after them. In light of the crime wave, Ramjattan highlighted that some of the measures that will be put in place to tackle this problem are an increase in patrols, the acquisition of adequate resources to properly equip policemen, provide necessary training, and bettering community-Police relationships. The previous administration has spent billions of dollars to correct these deficiencies, but crime continued. Ramjattan is maintaining that the crime rate cannot be reduced immediately, but in fact, a long-term plan is needed to curb the scourge. Additionally, there are approximately 164 recommendations which were produced by the Discipline Forces Commission and are there to guide reform of the Force. There are also a set of proposals made by the former PPP/C administration on crime and reforms as well as a 15-point plan put forward by former President Donald Ramotar.
Please add crimes as they occur daily. The intent is not to demonize the current administration but rather to see if they are making a difference. As crimes decrease/increase the administration will be vindicated/exposed.
My initial reaction was that Granger and team would decrease crime since the police would act without tied hands and in fear of protests in favor of criminals. Apparently this will take some time as we see there has not been a dramatic turn around as yet.
Although a post mortem was performed on the decomposed Chaitram Hardeo, 26, of Unity Village, East Bank Essequibo proved he drowned, his relatives believe foul play was involved.
The body of the barber was fished out of a fishing pond at Hubu Back, East Bank Essequibo almost three days after he went missing. He was last seen on Wednesday, September 23.
According to information, the man and the son of the owner of a popular stall in the Hubu Area were involved in an altercation when he was severely beaten and soon after disappeared.
The dead man’s relatives believe the young man was murdered, after which his body was transported to the fish pond where it was dumped. His body was found on Saturday afternoon by two lads who went to the area to fish.
Allegedly due to piranhas (a type of fish) in the pond, portions of the man’s body were missing. Initially the Police, relatives stated, were slothful in their investigations but after the intervention of the D Division (West Bank Demerara-East Bank Essequibo) Commander Stephen Mansell investigations have intensified.
Hardeo, farther of the dead man told Guyana Times his son left home on Wednesday evening — and admitted his son was a heavy drinker — but said that after he did not return home, on Thursday they searched the area for the young man but he was not found. He added that as they searched, they found out that he and another man had an argument followed by an altercation.
He stated that from reports, his son was beaten about the body. However, days passed by and there were no signs of the missing man, not until the two lads went to the area to fish and came in contact with the foul stench.
As they looked closer, they saw a body floating in the water and immediately raised an alarm, the distraught father stated.
Upon hearing the news of the discovery, the family rushed to the scene and were confronted by their son’s motionless body. “He two hands and foot eat out… he head had dried blood and portion of his face was damage”, he added.
The aggrieved father stated that Ranks at the Parika Police Station refused to investigate the matter, claiming that it was a clear indication of ‘a drunken man drowned’.
Nevertheless, the post mortem on Wednesday proved that Hardeo drowned but the relatives were not satisfied since they claimed the pathologist ‘just look at the body and say that he drowned’.
The man stated that they subsequently met with the D Division Commander and raised their concerns. The Commander intervened and the post mortem was redone on Friday but the results were the same.
Despite this, the man is still not satisfied since, he claimed, there is a witness who reportedly told them he saw the now dead man being beaten, then thrown into a boat and it left for the fishing pond. He is calling for justice and is hopeful further Police investigations can prove his son was murdered.
The dead man leaves to mourn his parents and siblings and is expected to be cremated today.
Following investigations into a multimillion-dollar robbery committed on a businessman at Crane, West Coast Demerara, the police went to a house in Kitty on Friday which led to the arrest of two persons and recovery of a portion of the money. Based on information, the Police received reports of the robbery where the perpetrators escaped with $2.7 million. As they conducted their investigations, Police went to the house in Kitty, Georgetown where $1.2 million suspected to be from the heist were recovered. At the time, a man and woman were arrested and taken into Police custody. The duo have are assisting with investigations and is expected to be charged shortly.
– nabbed with gun; two others held with bulletproof vests in Agricola raid
Charged with murder at 15, Dellon Henry, called ‘Nasty Man’, is now back in the limelight as a prime suspect in another killing. Police arrested him yesterday during a raid in Agricola, and are now trying to establish whether he is the gunman who executed 36-year-old Dexter Griffith in ‘Warlock,’ East Ruimveldt last Tuesday. Police said that Henry, now 24, was held in Second Street, Agricola, with an unlicensed .38 revolver with six matching rounds, as well as with two .32 rounds. “The man, who is in police custody, was also wanted for questioning by the police in relation to the murder of Dexter Griffith who was shot and killed in ‘Warlock’ on September 29, 2015,” a release stated. Kaieteur news understands that detectives are awaiting ballistic tests on the firearm before questioning the suspect further.
Executed: Dexter Griffith
A police official said that two other men were taken into custody after being found with two bulletproof vests. ‘Nasty Man’ first came into under the police radar at the age of 13, when he was charged and remanded for the August 8, 2006 murder of businessman Wordsworth Grey, who was gunned down in Bagotstown, East Bank Demerara. The killing occurred in the height of the ‘crime wave’ and on the same night on which five Kaieteur News pressmen was slain in Eccles. In 2006, while still incarcerated, Henry was charged, along with Deon Braithwaite, for allegedly sodomising another prisoner. Kaieteur News understands that Henry was only recently released from the Georgetown Prison and Kaieteur News was unable to ascertain the outcome of the two cases for which Henry was charged. Police had indicated last week that they were trying to locate Henry for questioning into the murder of Dexter Griffith, who was riddled with bullets last Tuesday night near his home in East Ruimveldt ‘Back Circle.’ A police release had stated that Griffith was on the roadway at “Warlock”, when a man approached on foot and discharged several shots at him and escaped. Eyewitnesses said that Griffith was standing near an alleyway when gunmen shot him at close range, sending his body tumbling into a drain. He died almost immediately.
WHAT NEXT? : Dexter Griffith’s reputed wife contemplates her future in the aftermath of his execution
Police had detained an East Ruimveldt man, known as ‘Gun-butt,’ who allegedly transported the gunman to the scene. This suspect has since been released on station bail. A brother of Griffith’s had said that he was informed that ‘Gun butt’ had dropped off the killers at ‘Front Circle’, East Ruimveldt on Tuesday night. The gunmen reportedly then walked through ‘the crack’ to ‘Back Circle’, East Ruimveldt, shot his brother, then fled to ‘Front Circle’, where the car, allegedly driven by ‘Gun Butt’, was waiting. He has alleged that the men behind his brother’s execution sent death threats to him and his mother. His sibling’s murder is said to be linked to a vendetta, which has claimed three lives, that is primarily between individuals from ‘Warlock’ and Agricola. According to the sibling, the vendetta started when Kellon Hinds, another East Ruimveldt resident, was shot and robbed of gold jewellery. That incident occurred in June 2004. Sherwyn Barrow, another East Ruimveldt resident, was charged in connection with the attack on Hinds. The matter was dismissed after the alleged victim declined to give evidence in court. But last May, Sherwyn Barrow was gunned down in broad daylight while sitting outside a shop in ‘Warlock’. In late August, police detained Kellon Hinds, in connection with Barrow’s death. Hours after police released him, gunmen walked into an East Ruimveldt yard in which he was hanging out and shot him dead. Shawn Barrow, a relative of the slain Sherwyn Barrow, was charged with Hinds’ murder. Griffith’s brother confirmed that his executed sibling and Hinds were close friends. Griffith’s slain brother had fathered four children, His eldest, a girl, is 13, while the others are aged five, two and one year respectively. Kellon Hind’s partner is also said to be a few months’ pregnant.
A trip to Andrew’s Supermarket on Aubrey Barker Street, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, to purchase ice for his wife’s birthday party went sour for a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) rank who was shot to his right leg and is a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH).
The soldier, Sayne George, on Sunday told Guyana Times he left his wife’s birthday party on Saturday night at about 21:00h with two of his army comrades. According to George his two co-workers had preceded him into the supermarket and as he was making his way to join them, he noticed four young men approaching the building, each armed with a hand-gun.
“They came over and said to us all who were outside that everyone should lie on the ground and that nobody should move. So I lie down on the ground and two went into the store while the other two remained outside,” George recalled.
He said that someone who was on the other side of the road discharged a round in the air, which prompted the two gunmen outside to run away shouting ‘police, police!’
He said following this he ran into the supermarket to get his friends and noticed one of the gunmen brandishing a gun and ordered him not to move.
“He fired two shots in my direction. One missed me and the other one struck me in my right leg. After shooting me he escape and then the police vehicle came and I was taken to the GPHC,” the injured man told this newspaper from his hospital bed.
George explained that he is unaware if persons inside the supermarket were robbed prior to his entrance. However, the few persons who were outside were searched by the two bandits that stood guard.
One of these persons outside was the proprietor of the supermarket, 39-year-old Saikque Andrews.
Guyana Times understands that two of the bandits arrived on motorcycles while two others approached on foot.
“They were right in the vicinity of the supermarket. And they are bare youths in their teens, like. They looked between 15 years and 23 the most. All of them had firearms, small arms, handguns,” the soldier added.
Police on Sunday said the gunmen escaped with jewellery and cell phones from the owner of the establishment.
A close relative told this newspaper that George had applied for a firearm licence but is still awaiting approval.
A source close to the injured GDF rank told this publication the Policemen at the scene woefully divulged that even if they had caught and shot the men they are fearful of repercussions they may face due to new policies being implemented in relation to shooting suspects.
When Guyana Times visited the Andrew’s Supermarket on Sunday, the proprietor was unavailable, and the staff on duty could not clarify the sequence of events that took place on Saturday evening.
The supervisor on duty, Mr Carter, told Guyana Times that he was not working when the incident occurred and that he was not briefed on the events in question.
However, it should be noted that the supermarket does have operational surveillance cameras and it is expected the footage from Saturday evening will be reviewed and handed over to the Police. This is however not the first time the Andrews Supermarket has been targeted by bandits. Last January bandits robbed and then escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Only recently Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan criticised sceptics over his much touted Gun Amnesty Programme. Flaunting his perceived ‘success’ with the programme, Ramjattan told another section of the media:, “I have tried it and obviously it is successful.”
During the Amnesty period, which was eventually extended, 142 ‘old’ firearms and 1700 rounds of ammunition were handed over to the Police. A large quantity of these weapons was handed over to Police at interior locations, thus showing that the illegal weapons in coastland areas are still afloat.
The Gun Amnesty initiative was launched as a means of allowing persons in possession of illegal guns and ammunition to hand over these without fear of prosecution.
In most cases, the guns and ammunition collected during an Amnesty are destroyed, but Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud stated that once the ballistics experts give clearance that the guns were not used in the commissioning of a crime, the Guyana Police Force can apply to the authorities to have them added to their stock.
The Police Chief explained that once a gun has been linked to an offence, the Police can and would reopen an investigation into the particular matter.
The Commissioner further stated that those who would have surrendered their illegal weapons during the Amnesty Programme will have absolute immunity. The immunity, however, only relates to possession of firearms, but not the crime it might have been involved in.
“Government is very much interested in determining the source of Jagdeo’s wealth among others whose salaries do not seem to match the fortunes they have acquired over the years…” Dr. Thomas
Guyana’s anti corruption commission otherwise known as the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) has no interest in waiting on the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo to disclose to the nation, the source of his assets on his own terms.
Multiple agencies have already begun to investigate the wealth of the former president and the disposal of assets during his 12 year reign. SARU’s Head, Dr. Clive Thomas, disclosed that the agencies, along with SARU, will also be investigating all those persons who had control over assets of the states be it former Ministers or Permanent Secretaries of the previous administration.
Dr. Clive Thomas said that there remains “deep interest” in ascertaining the source of the former President’s assets.
“Government is very much interested in determining the source of Jagdeo’s wealth among others whose salaries do not seem to match the fortunes they have acquired over the years so multiple agencies are looking at that. We cannot be told not to investigate anyone including Jagdeo,” said the SARU Head.
“But I don’t want it to be misconstrued to mean that Jagdeo is our only target. We don’t want to make it look like we are only going after him because there will be some other developments taking place. That’s why we have our experts in the country now because we are trying to find…those who were found to be engaged in stealing public assets.”
The State Assets Recovery Unit has already undertaken several cases. Dr. Thomas said that two such cases include the ‘Pradoville scandal’ and the alleged misuse of state assets by former GuySuCo CEO, Dr. Rajendra Singh.
The Ministry of Housing had called on the Recovery Unit to investigate the ‘Pradoville Two’ deal, where abuse of state resources by the previous administration allegedly occurred.
The matter is also being examined under forensic audits being carried out at both the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the National Industrial Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Keith Scott, had disclosed that the area situated at Parcel 172 Plantation Sparendaam and Parcel 237 Plantation Goedverwagting, known by citizens as Pradoville 2, was “mutated” and sold, subject to a Cabinet decision.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo
SARU Head, Dr. Clive Thomas
The state-owned NICIL/Privatisation Unit was authorized to do all acts necessary to ensure the vesting of the new development project in the CH&PA, the body which is tasked with overseeing housing developments in Guyana.
NICIL/Privatisation Unit was headed by Winston Brassington, an executive who oversaw a number of contentious multi-billion-dollar public infrastructure deals.
According to Scott, the allocation of parcels of land to several former ministers, senior Government officials and friends close to the PPP administration, and the method to determine the prices paid, were not assessed by the CH&PA.
He said that CH&PA seemed not to have been in the loop. The infrastructural works were contracted to Atlantic Construction by NICIL/Privatisation Unit.
NICIL reportedly also spent tens of millions of dollars to build roads, drainage and culverts, and to lay pipelines and in some cases, underground power cables. The developed house lots, complete with infrastructure, were then sold to Jagdeo, several ministers and Government officials and friends.
There is no evidence that the house lots sale was advertised or what procedures were used in the allocation of the parcels of the ocean-front properties.
Jagdeo himself, according to details of allocations, received two parcels equivalent to two acres. On it, he built an imposing mansion, complete with pool and overlooking the seawall and the Atlantic Ocean. He paid a total of $9.8M. He had owned a property along the Ogle Airport Road in the community that was known as ‘Pradoville One’. However, he reportedly sold that property to Trinidadian advertising executive, Ernie Ross.
In effect, Jagdeo paid three times less than what ordinary citizens in the Diamond and Grove Housing Schemes, East Bank Demerara, would have been required to fork out.
Jagdeo’s payment for the Pradoville Two parcels translated to $5M per acre which works out at $114 per square foot; the ordinary man pays $317 per square foot for his plot.
The sale of the Pradoville Two house lots for such a low price would contrast starkly with what remigrants had to pay under the Government’s scheme for returning to Guyana. Remigrants paid more than ten times the price Jagdeo paid for the same size house lot. They paid $1,111 per square foot.
Other beneficiaries included Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack; former Head of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Ramesh Dookhoo; former Ministers Clement Rohee, Priya Manickchand, Robert Persaud and even former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon. The Asset Recovery Unit is also investigating some of the infractions committed by Dr. Rajendra Singh when he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
Dr. Thomas had said that a request was made for more details for some of the transactions and decisions by Dr. Singh as they involved the misappropriation of State assets.
The Assets Recovery Unit will be looking into the sale of 2.6792 acres of land at Plantation Good Hope, East Coast Demerara to one Kelvin Gobin. This sale was authorized by Dr. Singh.
Dr. Singh also entered into management agreements with Global Casetech and Global Cane Sugar services out of India for the management services on a number of estates at unreasonably high cost, and without approval of the Board of Directors.
Documents also show that the former GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer persisted with a commercial bio fertilizer, despite advice to the contrary from the corporation’s research and technical personnel.
Single sourced procurements were done for the supply of bio fertilizers from Kay Bovet Engineering Ltd. of India in the sum of US$76,680 in June 2014 and Global Cane Sugar Services Pvt. Ltd of India in the sum of US$68,580 in February 2015. Despite being cautioned numerous times regarding the adaptation of a practice that has not been used outside of India, the former CEO allegedly persisted with commercial application rather than a trial as advised.
Dr. Singh is also said to have made decisions that resulted in millions of dollars being lost by GuySuCo.
The said documents reveal that Singh had responsibility for finance and marketing for the company and entered into a one year agreement with Tate and Lyle in 2013 when the company could have entered into one for three years while locking in at a higher sugar price for 2014 and 2015. This was the first time in the history of the Long Term Agreement (LTA) with Tate and Lyle that a one-year agreement was entered into. The failure to enter into a three-year agreement resulted in a conservatively estimated loss of US$60M in revenue for the corporation for the years 2014 and 2015. During his time as CEO, he also committed 38,000 tonnes of sugar to Futures Market without locking in a price it was US$0.16 cents per pound. The current price is now US$0.11 cents per pound and this decline resulted in a loss of revenue in the sum of US$4.2M for GuySuCo.
The Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) has come out in strong condemnation of recent revelations
GUYSUCO’s CEO Dr. Raj Singh
that Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) is unable to meet payment obligations to its workers. Further, it has failed to make contributions for its workforce.
GTUC President, Lincoln Lewis, at a press conference held yesterday at the Critchlow Labour College, said that the actions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GUYSUCO, Dr. Rajendra Singh, border on criminal sabotage. This is in reference to recent revelations that GUYSUCO had been deducting monies from workers but now owes over $1.5B to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) because of not making contributions on behalf of the workers. This was just days following the shocking pronouncement from Singh that the corporation had no money to pay junior and senior staff members, unless the newly installed Government provided a bailout package within the next few days.
Singh went further, and predicted that the corporation would cease operations should such a bailout not be provided.
“GUYSUCO cannot be allowed to hold the government hostage. The issues of this industry transcend ministerial abilities,” Lewis said.
He went on to call for a parliamentary review, open to the public and stakeholders in order to reach a consensus on the state of the industry, its future and what must be done towards worker’s wellbeing. He also drew attention to the fact that Singh, who was a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate in the 2015 elections, had declared GUYSUCO’s inability to pay workers only two weeks after elections, and referred to these actions as ‘economic sabotage’. “The era of burning acres of young cane to sabotage the economy is over. The sugar industry is home to some 16,000 workers. In 2015 GUYSUCO is no longer a productive entity (able) to meet domestic and international demands.
“GUYSUCO is additionally beleaguered by declining production levels, shortfalls in the Skeldon factory and runaway indebtness.
“This country can no longer be subjected to these reckless actions that border on criminal negligence and criminal sabotage. No politician or CEO should be allowed to continue using sugar workers.”
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo recently pronounced that GUYSUCO’s entire board will be sent packing for what he described as its “gross levels of incompetence”.
Declaring that the sugar industry was badly injured by poor financial management, ill-informed investment decisions, conflicts of interest and corruption at the point of procurement, the Prime Minister laid the fault for these squarely at the feet of the Board of Directors and management. GUYSUCO’s current Board of Directors comprises its Chairman Shaik Baksh, a former Education Minister; Dr. Dindyal Permaul, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA); Keith Burrowes, Executive Chairman of the Board and Guyana Office for Investment (GO- Invest); Badri Persaud, Managing Director, Guyana Oil (Guyoil) and Geeta Singh- Knight.
However, Keith Burrowes said that he tendered his resignation from the Board last year May. This was not announced because he claimed that the government asked him to remain quiet about it.
Nagamootoo made it clear that the current board cannot do much, if anything, to improve the company’s performance.
While in opposition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) had lashed out at Baksh’s appointment, saying that he was too closely associated with some major corruption scandals to be credible as an agent of change.
Geeta Singh- Knight was not spared either, since she presided over the collapse of the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana. Lewis made it clear that these dubious records, as well as their tacit approval to Guysuco’s duplicity made the entire board as liable as Dr. Singh.
– “To add insult to injury, the Auditor General signs off on financial statements approved not by the Board which has the statutory duty for the financial statements but by Mr. James Singh, the Commissioner,” Chris Ram
The Annual Reports and the Audited Financial Statements of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) leaves more worrying
Chartered accountant, Chris Ram
questions than convincing answers, particularly as it relates to transparency and accountability.
Chartered Accountant, Chris Ram among other critics, upon doing a detailed analysis of the Annual reports of the agency for the years, 2005-2012 all of which were laid in the National Assembly in November, 2013 found several alarming deficiencies and irregularities.
But even in the face of these, the reports were granted “unqualified opinions” by the Auditor General. When a report is given an unqualified opinion by an auditor, it means that he has vouched for the authenticity, accuracy and transparency of the information presented to him. The reports reveal that for several years, the Commission has been transferring millions to the National Industrial & Commercial Investments Ltd (NICIL) and the Environmental Protection Agency, which is against the law.
Ram contends that for the $600 million that the GFC allowed to be paid over to NICIL, all its directors should be hauled before the courts while NICIL should be investigated and disbanded. He said that the combination of NICIL/GFC is not only an insult to the intelligence of Guyanese but a challenge and an affront to decency.
To add insult to injury, Ram noted that the Auditor General signed off on financial statements approved not by the Board of Directors of GFC which has the statutory duty for the statements, but by Mr. James Singh, the Commissioner “Surely even the most docile Guyanese must have some breaking point at which they say enough is more than enough.” The Chartered Accountant on his website, Chrisram.net said that one would expect Finance Ministers to be zealously vigilant and robustly protective of moneys payable into the country’s Consolidated Fund. “Instead, we have NICIL, under the
James Singh, Forest Commissioner
successive chairmanship of two Finance Ministers, being used to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars due to the Consolidated Fund. There can be no extenuating circumstances that could excuse, let alone justify such unlawful and reckless conduct, fully aware of the nescient (ignorant) state of the Auditor General’s Office,” The accountant expressed. There was also a published series on the said shortcomings of the Commission’s reports done by Janette Bulkan and John Palmer. The duo also pointed to the NICIL/GFC fiasco. In their detailed analysis, they too pointed to the fact that large amounts of monies, and large variations from year to year between line items in the Commission’s annual reports appear to have been unquestioned by the Auditor General. Bulkan and Palmer said that no explanation was offered as to why the GFC should be holding over US$4 million in cash each year, why transfers are made to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NICIL, but none to the Consolidated Fund.
They said too that no explanation was given by the GFC as to why it is acquiring and disposing of fixed assets and why it has current tax liabilities of up to US$10 million in a year – dwarfing other line items. They stressed that there is a legal requirement for the GFC to make transfers to the Consolidated Fund (Section 16 (2) in the GFC Act 2007), but no requirement to send money to the EPA or NICIL.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Carl Greenidge, in support of their findings, said that this is an important and contentious issue. The former Finance Minister reiterated that the Forestry Act of 2009 makes no reference to either NICIL or the EPA so an explanation is definitely needed as to the relationship of the two entities and their claims on GFC funds. “We need to know what instructions or secret agreements were made to facilitate this blatant disregard for the law. Did the
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo
GFC Board actually take this decision or was it a calculated move by the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud? The people need to know,” Greenidge concluded.
A Partnership for National Unity’s Member on the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources, Joseph Harmon said too that even from a limited review of the reports of the Commission, “it seems like the GFC is another milking cow for NICIL, more food in the trough for Brassington and his crew. As these emerge, Guyanese people see clearly how the country’s resources are siphoned off to a parallel budget over which the National Assembly has no control.”
Moreover, Ram had also stated that the GFC is just another example of the perpetuation of Jagdeo’s legacy of financial lawlessness, a situation that is as wide as it is deep.
He said that the state of financial lawlessness created by former President Bharrat Jagdeo surely allows for the GFC’s “incomplete and deceptive” reports to be tabled and accepted by the National Assembly without any questions being asked or challenges posed.
Ram asserted that the chaos created is one in which the national accounting body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana, remains silent even as basic rules of accounting are violated with impunity. The state of lawlessness that exists, is “One in which the parliamentary bodies are paralysed by their own mediocrity. One in which we even have a mini-parallel Consolidated Fund called NICIL and where the evidence of slush funds everywhere mounts,” he added.
On his website, Ram said that only a wide-ranging, independent investigation into the public financial management of this country generally and of NICIL specifically can stem the relentless decline in accounting and accountability. He opined that the Government will not allow it and the weak opposition will not ask for it but the people of Guyana must demand it.
On his website, the accountant provides further details about his findings of the reports of the Commission for the years 2005 to 2012 which were all laid in Parliament in November, 2013.
Home > TOP STORY > Pastor beaten, robbed of church money – at Walton Hall
The Pastor's neck that is badly bruised after the bandit reportedly choked her
Pastor beaten, robbed of church money – at Walton Hall
October 6, 2015
A PASTOR who has dedicated her life to the work of God was reportedly terrorised and robbed of an undisclosed sum of church funds last Friday night at Walton Hall on the Essequibo Coast.According to reports, Pastor Doreen Edwards who lives alone, was terrorised and brutally choked by a lone bandit who invaded her home at around 21:00 hrs on Friday night. Speaking to reporters, the Pastor of the El Shaddai Pentecostal Church said she was in bed but felt suddenly weak and lifeless at around 21:00 hrs and could not get off the bed. According to the Pastor, her lights in the house suddenly came off and she wanted to know if it was a power failure but saw from her window that the lights on the road were still on. The Pastor recalled that, in the darkness, she felt a hand suddenly grabbing her neck and starting to choke her. The woman claimed that the person choking her also demanded “the church money”. The woman said with the hand choking her she soon became helpless and lost consciousness. According to the Pastor, after she regained consciousness the hand was at her throat again choking her. The Pastor said she was in and out of consciousness several times and was choked almost four times by the bandit who had a “fat” hand. She said when she finally was able to get off the bed she found her entire house ransacked and a bag with church funds missing. According to the Pastor, the front door of her home was left wide opened. She said the bandit gained entry to her home by removing louver panes on her window. The Pastor, whose neck was badly swollen and bruised, said the bandit while terrorising her, emptied two bottles with cold water on her. She said the bandit also defecate on her bed before leaving. The Pastor who visited the Anna Regina Police Station to make a report was taken to the Suddie Public Hospital where she was admitted for several hours. Police have so far visited the scene of the crime and are conducting investigation. No one has being arrested as yet.
Jagdeo named as a culpable party in 1999 kidnapping
August 15, 2015
FORMER Guyanese president, Bharrat Jagdeo, is named as a culpable party in the 1999 kidnapping and presumed murder of Franz Britton, aka ‘Collie Wills’.
A 2001 Organization of American States, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ [IACHR] Report #80/01, Petition #12.264 identifies Jagdeo along with Ronald Gajraj, former Minister of Home Affairs; Laurie Lewis, former Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force; and Leon Fraser, a former superintendent of the Guyana Police Force, as “responsible for Mr Britton’s disappearance whilst in police custody.”
According to the report, on January 25, 1999, Mr Britton, a father of three children, was “re-arrested by Leon Fraser, the Assistant Superintendent of Police of the Criminal Investigation Department, headquartered at Eve Leary, Georgetown, Guyana.”
The report continues: “Mr Britton was last seen in the company of Mr Leon Fraser, Superintendent of Police, head of the dreaded ‘Black Clothes’ police, and being bundled into a silver-grey car, licence plate number PGG 3412.” He hasn’t been seen since!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I testified at the IACHR hearing on behalf of Mr Britton, and at the behest of his mother, Ms Irma Wills, in March 2000. Dr Odeen Ismael, Guyana’s ambassador to the United States at the time, represented the Government of the People’s Progressive Party [PPP]. The Jagdeo Regime
Bharrat Jagdeo served as president of Guyana from 1999 to 2011. He now serves as leader of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party.
Starting in 1999, and, continuing until 2008, Guyanese citizens experienced an unprecedented reign of terror at the hands of his Government. During that period, hundreds of Guyanese were murdered, many under the colour of law, by members of the Guyana Police Force which was used by the PPP Government to enforce its criminal edacity.
Victims and the survivors of the PPP’s murderous criminality were offered no recourse from any of Guyana’s State agencies, including the courts.
The IACHR underscored that lack of recourse for Guyanese citizens in its 2001 Report about the Franz Britton kidnapping. According to the report, Ms Irma Wills, Mr Britton’s mother, and other relatives ‘visited both the Cove and John Police Station at East Coast Demerara, and the Brickdam police station where Mr Britton was last seen, and that they have been stymied in their efforts by the State authorities in Guyana to ascertain Mr Britton’s whereabouts after his arrest, detention, and transportation to Brickdam Police Station, Georgetown, by Mr Leon Fraser, Superintendent of Police.”
The IACHR concluded, subsequently, in a 2006 follow-up Report #1/06, Case #12.264 that “agents of the State security forces abducted and/or detained Franz Britton and that during the following six years his whereabouts have not been identified, and that, as a result, Guyana has violated the rights of Franz Britton to life, liberty, personal liberty, judicial protection, arbitrary arrest and due process of law.”
More significantly, the IACHR called on the “State [of Guyana] to provide reparations for the relatives of Franz Britton, including moral damages in compensation for the suffering occasioned by Mr Britton’s disappearance.”
A New Dispensation
After 23 years of PPP terrorism, the Guyanese people elected a new Government on May 11, 2015 with David Granger as President.
President David Granger made a solemn vow recently. Speaking at the 3rd annual Cuffy 250 State of the African -Guyanese Forum, the President promised to “ensure that all of those mothers’ children who were killed have their deaths investigated,” and those found culpable brought to justice.
The IACHR does not reach its conclusions frivolously. In the case of Franz Britton, the Commission conducted an exhaustive investigation into the merits of the case over a five-year period. During that time, it “received no information or observations from the State [of Guyana] with respect to the petitioner’s petition, despite repeated requests.” Consequently, according to the IACHR, “the Commission presumes the facts alleged in the petition to be true, and is satisfied that there is no other evidence that could lead to any other conclusion.”
The evidence against Mr Jagdeo and his cohorts is overwhelming, and damning in its specificity. And, in a remarkable case of irony, attorney Basil Williams, who represented Mr Britton and his family 15 years ago, is now Guyana’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs.
Under Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute, which governs the International Criminal Court, Bharrat Jagdeo and his cohorts named in the IACHR report can be charged, on the basis of their individual criminal responsibility and as indirect co-perpetrators, for crimes against humanity, namely, murder – Article 7(1)(a); forcible transfer – Article 7(1)(d); and/or, torture – Article 7(1)(f).
The ball is now in your court – no pun intended – Mr Attorney General! (Ifa Kamau Cush, BA, MA is the international correspondent for New African Magazine. Mr. Cush was a Ph.D. candidate at New York University)