Jul 30, 2013 News
– Employees caught giving bogus Transport documents
The Deeds Registry which is responsible for maintaining public records and documents pertaining to real estate deeds, including Transports, Powers of Attorney, Bills of Sale and all conveyance in respect or in relation to the sale of properties owned by Transport, is currently under serious micro management by the Registrar of Deeds, Azeena Baksh and the Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall. They are both determined to stamp out corruption within their agency.
The Attorney General stated that he has also instructed that every irregular act which appears suspicious must be immediately reported to the police irrespective of who is involved.
He added, “I have spoken with the relevant officers of the Guyana Police Force and I have requested that every allegation of corruption from the Registry be thoroughly investigated and charges be instituted as quickly as possible where there is a basis for so doing.
“Over the last year and a half, several matters of corrupt practices were reported to the police. I will not relent until everyone understands that corruption will not be tolerated.”
Moreover, the Registrar related one of the cases where corrupt practices were met with serious disciplinary and legal action after two employees were caught in the act of producing bogus Transport documents.
The situation developed after the death of Stanley Collymore who was the sole owner of two properties, Lots 197 & 198 Camp Street which are both vast in length and width.
Collymore fathered four. Unfortunately, before he passed away, he failed to prepare a Will and as such the court had no choice but to allocate parts of the land evenly among his four children.
Anthony and Vanessa Collymore were subsequently deemed the administrators of the estate by the order of the court.
Anthony Collymore, who was granted the eastern portion of 197 which had two buildings on it, sold his portion to Fiona Devonshire who subsequently sold her property and that, according to the Registrar, “is by the book, correct.”
However, Baksh said that one of the beneficiaries under the estate told her that after she was literally begging Anthony for the Transport to her property, he instructed her to go to the Registry for the documents.
The woman went to the Registry and received the Transport but what was odd was that a businessman approached her about the property and he was in possession of a Transport as well.
The Registrar indicated that they had no records of these two Transports; even the receipts issued to him were forged since there is no record of them.
She said, “When we were made aware of this, the Attorney General was contacted and he advised that the police be called immediately. A sting operation was set up and two of my staff members were caught in the act of delivering a Transport.”
Whilst detectives are still on the hunt for Collymore, the two young men await the charges to be laid against them and are currently reporting to the station. They have been sent home by the orders of the Registrar.
She said that she is sympathetic with the businessman who paid “so much money and was not aware that he was in possession of a forged document.”
Baksh also cited another instance of corrupt practices within the registry.
In this instance, the matter involves a fraud involving a Lamaha Gardens property where someone purported to be the owner of the property and subsequently sold the building.
Baksh said, “One of my staff was going through the Transport documents to verify the signatures etc. She then noticed that the owner issued a Power of Attorney in 1984 but his handwriting in other documents was different. What we were basically looking at was the signature on the affidavit and that on the Power of Attorney.
Even at this stage, I said give the person the benefit of the doubt because one’s penmanship can change over the years. We then told the purchaser of the property to tell the vendor to come in with his passport because we just needed him to sign a document. The vendor turns up and we took his passport.
Immigration was contacted to verify his particulars but they told us that it was a woman’s passport. He was subsequently arrested.”
The Registrar said that this is a situation that has become too rampant. “We are constantly pleading with Notaries Public to see the person who is giving the Power of Attorney and this still remains one of our major issues.
It is a serious problem and it has to do with how we as a society feel about corruption and the fact that people are disposing of a property knowing that it is not theirs.”
“ At the moment we are seriously contemplating what can be done so that the Transport would not be easily forged. However, measures are being put in place to cover all tracks. “
She related that one of the issues the Registry is also battling is staff being paid to expedite matters.
“It is a two-way street. There is a giver and a receiver of bribe. My staff knows my position on the issue of corruption and while I give one percent of them to human frailties, the law states that public servants should not collect money to conduct duties and my staff knows that law very well.”
Nandlall said that while most of the employees attached to the Registry are public servants and cannot be dismissed unless certain procedures are followed, the minute anyone of them is implicated in a corrupt act, a transfer is requested immediately.
The Minister related that the Deeds Registry Authority, which is a statutory semi- autonomous agency, will soon become operational. A board of directors will be installed to overlook the functioning of the Registry. “With this in place, it is expected that even greater control will be implemented to guard against corrupt practices in any and every form.”
Jun 14, 2021Kaieteur News – By Calvin Chapman The National Track & Field Center (NTFC) at Leonora will come alive this weekend with some much missed athletics action when the Athletics Association of...
Jun 14, 2021
Jun 13, 2021
Jun 13, 2021
Jun 13, 2021
Jun 13, 2021
Kaieteur News– Have you read the WPA’s statement accepting the Guyana Government’s request from Walter Rodney’s... more
Kaieteur News- The President’s recent handling of complaints by members of the public was not demonstrative of the sort... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]