Oct 31, 2012 News Comments Off on Linden Commission of Inquiry…Brassington makes claims for damaged LIMINE Secretariat
– no audited reports for property since 2006
By Zena Henry
The Executive Director of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, yesterday made claims for losses for the NICIL-owned Linmine Secretariat, formerly owned by the Guyana Bauxite Company.
NICIL, the entity that conducts commercial activity on behalf of the state, presented an inventory to the Commission of Inquiry (COI), listing items that were damaged in Linden some time on July 18, last, when unrest erupted over the hike in electricity tariffs and the subsequent shooting and killing of three protestors.
Brassington testified that LINMINE was the property of NICIL. He presented a Vesting Order and a Transport on behalf of NICIL to prove that the Bauxite Company was property of the state-owned NICIL. He however failed to present the documents of incorporation, but clarified that he could make same available.
The CEO later testified that from 2006, there has been no audited report that would disclose ownership of LINMINE. According to Brassington, from 2005, there had been a total value attached to the fixed assets of LINMINE in the audited reports, but the property itself had not been described in the financial statements (a total value is however given for the immovable property).
Brassington continued when questioned that after 2006, this information was not repeated in the successive years of audited reports up to 2012.
The CEO informed that all the audited reports had not been issued, but agreed that up to 2006 the property was captured in the audited reports. Following 2006, Brassington agreed with attorney at law Nigel Hughes, that there is no other audited report disclosing the ownership of the LINMINE.
The NICIL head also agreed that the transport provided to the COI did not reflect the company name, NICIL. It instead reflected the name of LINMINE’s former owner the “Guyana Bauxite Company” in 1973.
That information Attorney-at-law Basil Williams had earlier argued was not enough to prove that NICIL was the owner of the LINMINE. He also argued that NICIL had listed items such as water dispenser, micro-wave, fridge, cabinets and other items, but did not list the immovable assets.
In making value claims, Williams said that the items should be clearly listed. Nothing, according to the lawyer, was made clear by NICIL to highlight specifically what is being claimed.
Williams argued that NICIL has to satisfy the COI of liabilities before going to an assessor claiming losses. The COI, he claimed, must be satisfied of the property in question’s owner before damages could be assessed. That, he opined, could not be done given that inclusive evidence was not presented showing that NICIL owns LINMINE.
Hughes asked Brassington about insurance for the LINMINE Secretariat and he, Brassington, revealed that the property in Linden was not insured. He said that Linden was excluded from insurance coverage.
It was also disclosed that NICIL, via its CEO, has no evidence as to how the fire at LINMINE started.
After Brassington’s testimony, three persons were called to the stand on issue of damage to their personal properties. Vishnu Singh, an auto dealer from East Bank Demerara said his fuel tanker was destroyed during the unrest in Linden. He claimed that the truck was returning to the city after dropping off fuel in the interior when it was destroyed by fire in Linden.
He said that he was not there but that the driver of his truck told him that protestors had torched the vehicle.
Carlton Mohan said that his truck and trailer fetching logs were destroyed in Linden. He said that he was also told by the driver of his truck that protestors had lit the truck afire and had used the logs to block roadways.
Mohan however told the commission that he did not go to his insurer; Hand in Hand Insurance Company. He said that he instead went to Freedom House where the Prime Minister told him that it made no sense going to the insurance company since they do not cover protesting.
“He said it did not make sense I go but he seh I could still go.” Mohan said he did not present the insurance claim to the Prime Minister.
Mohan up to yesterday had still not gone to his insurer having known the fate of his truck since July 18. The Commission urged the truck owner to make contact with his insurer.
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