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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyanese government on Tuesday said it has sent the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Mae Thomas “on leave with immediate effect” after she was named along with two other Guyanese nationals for their roles in public corruption in the CARICOM country.

The  Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that in addition to imposing the sanctions on Thomas, Nazar Mohamed, his son, Azruddin Mohamed, and their company, it had also designated two other entities, Hadi's World and Team Mohamed's Racing Team, for being owned or controlled by Mohamed's Enterprise and Azruddin, respectively.

OFAC said that these individuals and entities are sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.

“Today's action underscores our commitment to holding accountable those who seek to exploit Guyana's underdeveloped gold sector for personal gain,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E Nelson.

“Treasury, in close coordination with our partners in US law enforcement, will continue to take action to safeguard the US financial system from abuse by corrupt actors,” Nelson added.

In a statement, the Guyanese government said it has taken “careful note” of the United States Department of the Treasury informing of the matter involving the three Guyanese nationals.

“Based on the information referenced in the press release, the Ministry of Finance and relevant statutory agencies including the Guyana Revenue Authority, will be requesting additional information on the matters highlighted, with a view to aiding local law enforcement agencies.

“The Government of Guyana takes very seriously the claims contained in the press release and will continue to engage relevant United States entities on these matters. In the meantime, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Ms Mae Thomas has been sent on leave with immediate effect.”

The Irfaan Ali government said that it will continue to work with the United States government “on all matters of mutual interest, including the respect for the rule of law and order”.

The US authorities say gold is one of Guyana's main exports, but it remains a highly fractured industry with small-scale gold mining operations in Guyana occupying a majority share of the country's gold production.

It said these small, family-owned businesses have informal relationships with larger purchasers and traders like Mohamed's Enterprise and that “once mined, Guyanese gold is sold and traded throughout international markets, including the United States, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union.

It said that Nazar Mohamed founded Mohamed's Enterprise in Guyana before expanding to the United States as a moneychanger and transitioned into gold trading, growing Mohamed's Enterprise into one of Guyana's largest gold exporters.

In time, Azruddin Mohamed ultimately took over Mohamed's Enterprise, which also now does business as “Confidential Cambio.”

Azruddin and Mohamed's Enterprise allegedly evaded Guyana's tax on gold exports and defrauded the Guyanese government of tax revenues by under declaring their gold exports to Guyanese authorities.

It is alleged that between 2019 and 2023, Mohamed's Enterprise omitted more than 10 thousand kilograms of gold from import and export declarations and avoided paying more than US$50 million in duty taxes to the government of Guyana.

OFAC said that Thomas, while serving as Permanent Secretary to Guyana's Minister of Home Affairs, used her position to offer benefits to Mohamed's Enterprise and Azruddin, among others, in exchange for cash payments and high-value gifts.

“Thomas misused her position to influence the award of official contract bids and the approval processes for weapons permits and passports on behalf of Mohamed's Enterprise.”

OFAC said as a result of the sanctions “all property and interests in property of the designated persons…that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC”.

US sanctions wealthy Guyanese family members, senior government official | Caribbean | Jamaica Gleaner (

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The deafening silence of the PPP on this sanctioning is telling.  The Mohammeds have strong ties to the PPP and with Irfaan Ali.  Nazar Mohammed was a PPP candidate in the last local government elections. The PPP came to the defence of Mae Thomas when her phone and passport were seized by US authorities while in-transit to China. The corruption involved in smuggling 10,000kg of gold surely involves more than just Mae Thomas.  Who are the others? How is State House involved? How is Freedom House involved? The biggest joke in all of this is that Thomas was sent on leave and a Guyana government investigation initiated. Are they going to investigate themselves?

@Totaram posted:

They are tight-lipped because this scam likely reaches to the very top of the PPP. Ask your sources about the link between Mae Thomas and the PPP.

Mae Thomas should have been FIRED a long time ago.   Her bad deeds were covered up in the same way it was done for the "Dildo Man" Dharamlall.  Dacta Dacta BJ threatening severe actions if or when dem get ketch.

Naani seh dat a fish rottens from de head.


US sanctions have shattered anti-laundering standing –Ram

-pose grave risks to country

US sanctions against the Mohameds and Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas pose grave risks to the country and have shattered its anti-money laundering reputation, according to Charter-ed Accountant and attorney-at-law, Christopher Ram.

In an invited comment to Stabroek News on last Tuesday’s announcement by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),  Ram yesterday said that it  will tarnish the reputation of the country, potentially scaring away both international and domestic investors

A well-known commentator who has had a long-running oil and gas column in Stabroek News, Ram said that the sanctions on Nazar Mohamed and Azruddin Mohamed, who he described as two high-profile members of the business community operating in the gold, quarrying and non-bank Cambio sector, and Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas, a top public servant/ruling Party executive  have  “grave implications for the Government and the country which can suffer serious reputational damage”.



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