Nov 18, 2015 News
Four months after it was reported that former Director of Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL), Carvil Duncan, paid himself some $948,000, police at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters yesterday questioned him.
Kaieteur News also understands that the police file on Duncan has since been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
The seemingly suspicious payment was discovered by independent auditors who were probing the PetroCaribe Fund. That audit was one of many ordered by the new Government into state entities and other operations.
Fielding questions from reporters yesterday, Duncan reiterated that the money was approved by GPL’s Board of Directors. He also questioned the right of Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, to weigh in on the issue.
Patterson is the minister charged with responsibilities for the energy sector. It was the minister who had first spoken about the payments, indicating during a press conference, that the matter would be investigated.
Duncan yesterday referred reporters to GPL’s website which speaks of Government’s relations to that state-owned agency and how it should be handled.
“That sets out quite clearly what the function of the minister is. The function is zero!” Duncan said.
He was also asked whether he would repay the money.
“I had no discussion with (anyone) in relation to repaying anything. And I am not even aware that the file went to the DPP.”
He also argued: “If you work for ten years, and you have only been paid for four, would you want to repay that four?”
Quizzed whether he had gotten permission from the Board of Directors, Duncan alluded to permission that he had received from the Board, which he possessed in email format.
“There is a Board (of Directors) decision, where the board unanimously agreed. I have a copy of that email.”
When asked if he would be willing to release the email, he declined.
Reminded that the Government had revealed that no communication was received from the Board about this decision, Duncan stated that he did not want to get involved in the politics of his case.
“I don’t want to get involved in politics. I am trying to be peaceful. But the decision was taken by the Board in March. There was a Board meeting in March. As a result of that decision, a letter was written to (former GPL CEO Bharrat) Dindyal saying to him that we will have to calculate now forty eight months for all those who were there for (same period).”
He remained adamant that it was a decision taken by the Board which was in writing in the Board’s minutes.
When the revelations against Duncan first surfaced, Minister Patterson had explained that the Board of Directors of GPL had approached the former Government to raise the Directors’ fees from $5,000 to $20,000 monthly, but no decision was made.
Duncan’s saga is linked to former Deputy CEO of GPL Aeshwar Deonarine, who reportedly paid himself some $27M. As a Director, Duncan signed off on Deonarine’s payments.
Deonarine reportedly signed off for Duncan’s back pay, which represented the 48 months he would have been a Director.
Patterson had disclosed that he confronted Duncan who kept changing his story.
A known trade unionist, Duncan is the President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG).
Deonarine, who is on suspension, has taken his matter to court defending his $27M-plus in payments. The former Deputy CEO is also asking GPL to explain why he was suspended.
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