The trial of acting Deeds and Commercial Registrar, Azeena Baksh, who was charged in May for
allegedly obtaining monies by false pretence is scheduled to commence on October 23, next, before Magistrate Leron Daly in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
She was in the last trimester of her first pregnancy during her last court appearance.
The charge against her states that while being a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) between May 1, 2014 and January 31, 2017, with intent to defraud, she caused or procured valuable securities to the sum of $4,534,480 to be delivered to her bank of Nova Scotia account #281469; or to her own use and benefit by falsely pretending she was a contracted employee of the Deeds and Commercial Registry Authority.
Baksh, 30, of 343 Eccles, East Bank Demerara, has been released on $250,000 bail. She is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes. She was ordered to lodge her passport and report to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters every Friday until the determination of the matter.
The matter was called on Friday when Magistrate Daly fixed the date for trial. Baksh was absent and her lawyer requested that she be excused.
It was staffers at the Deeds Registry that called upon the Ministry of Legal Affairs to investigate their complaints of alleged financial improprieties committed by Baksh.
The complaints were referred to the CID Headquarters through Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum. According to the Ministry, the Human Resource and Accounting Departments complained that as Head of the Budget Agency and sole person in authority to approve and sign off the payroll of the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority and one of the main signatories on the Authority’s Bank Account, the Registrar unlawfully paid herself gratuity.
It is alleged that she did this knowing that she was a pensionable employee, having been appointed by the JSC.
”Registrar Baksh further unlawfully paid herself a higher salary than was approved by the JSC.”
The Ministry of Legal Affairs stated that the Deeds Registry officers have disclosed that these payments started since 2014 and continued up to early this year.
The Deeds Registry has also laid over with the Ministry of Legal Affairs, documents revealing that Baksh, out of revenue due, owing and payable to the Authority in or around the sum of $8.5M, unlawfully waived the sum of $7M upon the request of an Attorney-at-Law, who paid only the sum of $1.5M.
Baksh is the daughter of Ali Baksh, former Junior Agricultural Minister under the previous administration of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic. She has been a public servant for the past eight years, according to her lawyer.
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