– Administration seeks US$4.2M and G$100M in damages
By Latoya Giles
The Government of Guyana has moved to the courts to have Surendra Engineering face the law with regards to breach of contract for the Specialty Hospital. According to the lawsuit, which was filed yesterday by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, government is seeking damages to the tune of US$4.2M in addition to G$100M.
Surendra Engineering, according to court documents, has to make an appearance in the Commercial Court, which Justice Rishi Persaud presides over, on December 3, 2014.
In the statement of claim, Attorney General Nandlall notes that Surendra has failed to complete works as specified in its contract. There is also the claim by the government that the company was engaged in corrupt or fraudulent practices when it submitted a document saying it had originated from the central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago when that was not the case.
The document was a letter dated January 13, 2012 and signed by a D. Singh, Director of Financial Institutions Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Further to our letter dated October 14, 2011, we wish to confirm that Bankers Re Limited now Worldwide Bankers have more than five years in the reinsurance and coinsurance business and are authorized for those operations since 1988,” was stated in the letter which was given to the Guyana Government.
Several checks by the government revealed that there was no “Mr. Singh” employed by the bank.
Courts documents also allege that Surendra submitted fabricated, unsigned and sometimes inflated invoices with no evidence of actual payments made or to support the expenditure claimed.
Meanwhile, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon told the media that government was prepared to go through various phases in terms of their intervention.
These included the termination of the contract (which was done) and pursuing legal action for fraud. He explained that ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department are working actively with the matter. He said too, that all stakeholders of the contract have been informed of the termination of the contract. The HPS said that the administration was seeking to have Indian Exim Bank officials travel to Guyana to have discussions with them on a way forward as it pertains to continuing execution of the contract on a bilateral level.
The troubled Indian contractor has since denied tendering a fake bank guarantee for the Turkeyen specialty hospital. Managing Director, Brijen Parikh, in a statement issued had said that “all such allegations of fraud or financial irregularities are completely baseless and without any merit.”
Parikh had said that over the past two years, Surendra had been working relentlessly for the progress of the Specialty Hospital Project and has invested a huge amount of resources in terms of time, money and manpower, and remains committed to seeing the project completely through.
The company claims it is owed several million US dollars from the Government in respect of work done at the site so far.
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