Jun 14, 2013 News Comments Off on US$19M Citizen’s Security Programme…IDB investigates fraud
– Coordinator Khemraj Rai under probe
The US$19 million Citizen’s Security Programme, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is under investigation for fraud allegedly conducted by its coordinator Mr Khemraj Rai.
Kaieteur News understands that the Washington-based IDB sent investigators to Guyana after a consultant with the project raised an alarm. The Bank’s Office of Institutional Integrity is investigating the allegations.
The man who raised the allegations is Mr Viddiadat Jaisari of Number 7 Village, West Coast Berbice. He was contracted by the Ministry of Home Affairs as a construction supervisor from November 2011 and was assigned a salary of $250,000.
This newspaper understands that when the allegations were made against Mr Rai, the IDB immediately sent in the investigators.
The allegations are essentially that a company was set up to benefit specifically from the small contracts. That company was in Mr Jaisari’s name and a joint bank account was set up with Rai as one of the principals of the account.
Jaisari reportedly raised an alarm after he discovered that his company’s name was being used, allegedly without his knowledge, to bid for contracts. The company was awarded the contracts, which were sometimes executed by another of Jaisari’s relatives. It is claimed that Rai mostly managed and withdrew money from the account of the company under Jaisari’s name.
Jaisari is claiming that he never signed the documents bearing his signature.
The documents included bids for the supply of various appliances, like TV sets, microwave ovens, freezers, and other items, along with office furniture, all under the Citizen Security Programme.
In most cases, the bid price came in just short of the amount required for special approval and so the contracts awarded under Jaisari never came in for close scrutiny.
In one of his emails to IDB investigators seen by Kaieteur News, Mr Jaisari claimed that Mr Rai was issuing cheques to his (Jaisari’s) name and as a joint account holder, Rai was himself collecting these cheques.
Jaisari was fired last year July. It was at that time that he said he went to the bank to get a statement of his accounts and realized that some $7 million was deposited and withdrawn from the account using his name.
Mr Jaisari first wrote IDB country representative Sophie Makonnen with his allegations and she forwarded him to the Bank’s Office of Institutional Integrity, which investigates allegations of corruption in IDB-funded projects.
The provision of goods and services ranged from building pavilions to building and furnishing centres, all under the Citizen Security Programme.
Under IDB-funded projects, individual companies/entities go through an administrative process that permits the accused firms and/or individuals to respond to the allegations pursuant to the Sanctions Procedures. Sanctions are meant to prevent and deter fraud and corruption in Group-financed activities according to the IDB.
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