The forensic audit report into the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIAC) has highlighted
that the airport’s Accounts Clerk turned supervisor, was in fact the power of attorney for the Exec Jet Club.
The Exec Jet Club was an aircraft jet-charter business owned Guyana-born pilot, Khamraj Lall. Lall pleaded guilty to money-laundering before the authorities in the United States after he was caught by Puerto Rican authorities with US$600,000 in cash stashed in his plane in November 2014.
The audit, which was conducted by Goorwantie Kaladeen, also highlighted that the airport’s management, but not the personnel officer and then accountant, were aware that the accounts clerk was doing part time work for Kaylees Gas Station, which was owned by Lall.
The audit report also states that the lease for the controversial private hanger located at the airport, which was used by Exec Jet, was signed between the airport’s commercial and administration manager, with the clerk signing for Exec Jet, on October 15, 2012, with CJIA being used as the address on the documents.
In the wake of all of this, the accounts clerk was promoted to Accounts Supervisor in 2014. That is until the Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn at the time, recommended that he be fired for conflict of interest after it became public knowledge that he was power of attorney for Exec Jet Club in November 2014.
The report also noted that the Accounts Supervisor resigned with effect from January 2015. The auditor added that the granting of the Lease for Exec Jet Club Hangar at CJIAC was not recommended by the CJIAC Board.
“The pilot was granted approvals to land at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport; and due diligence was undertaken and Standard Operating Procedures was followed for the Construction of the Hangar on the Airport’s premises,” the auditor added.
This has major implications, as while a charter pilot would have been transporting Government officials and been using his plane to smuggle money and narcotics, as shown in court, an employee of the airport was representing him in his other business enterprises with the management’s knowledge.
The embattled cash jet pilot, who was also proprietor of Kaylees Gas Station in Coverden, East Bank Demerara, was hauled before the Courts in the US on a number of other allegations including tax evasion, money laundering and trafficking in narcotics.
There had also been a court matter related to the continued usage of the hangar. Local businessman, Deolall Gangadin, had applied to the Court for continued usage of the hanger claiming ownership of Exec Jet Club.
The CJIAC was represented by Mr. Andrew M.F. Pollard of Hughes, Fields & Stoby. Gangadin was represented by Mr. Rexford Jackson of Hanoman & Associates.
However, his application was dismissed after Justice Diana Insanally in (the Commercial Court of the Georgetown Supreme Court) ruled in favour of the CJIAC.
According to the information outlined in the affidavit filed by CJIAC in response to the court action, Lall was granted permission to construct a hangar for his aircraft some time on January 9, 2013 — approximately two years after he applied for permission to build.
The document stated that at the material time, Gangadin of Lot ‘B’ Soesdyke East Bank Demerara (EBD) and Shivnarine Ramsarup of Lot 7 Madewini, East Bank Demerara were appointed with Powers of Attorney for Lall’s estate, inclusive of Kaylee’s Gas Station and Exec Jet Club.
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