Apr 29, 2016 News
… court to proceed with trial of Duncan
Two conspiracy charges against former Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Power Light (GPL)
Aeshwar Deonarine were withdrawn yesterday, after an application by Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers was granted by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
Deonarine and former Director of the power company were jointly charged back in January for conspiring with each other to commit a felony (simple larceny).
However, Duncan, 73, of Festival City, North Ruimveldt, Georgetown, has been the only one present for the court hearings.
Deonarine fled Guyana last year causing a warrant to be issued for his arrest. At a previous hearing the court was informed that Deonarine had run away to Canada.
Yesterday, the charges were re-read to Duncan and he pleaded not guilty.
Particulars of the first charge alleged that Duncan and Deonarine conspired with each other to commit simple larceny. He is accused of stealing $984,900 property of GPL on March 31, 2015 at Georgetown.
It was also alleged that Duncan and Deonarine between May 7 and May 8, 2015 conspired with each other to steal $27,757,500 property of GPL. He is currently out on $1M bail.
Prosecutor Jeffers indicated that he was ready to proceed with trial and served Duncan with statements in relation to the simple larceny charge he is solely facing.
The two former senior officials are accused of being part of a multi-million-dollar fraud at GPL. The men are alleged to have illegally transferred close to $30M to their personal bank accounts from GPL accounts.
The Government had asked the police to investigate the two senior officials last July. It was reported that the men paid themselves almost $29M without authorization.
In light of investigations, Deonarine was sent on administrative leave.
The discoveries of the suspicious transfers were made by independent auditors who were probing the Petro Caribe Fund, which holds proceeds of oil shipments taken from neighbouring Venezuela.
It was while tracking payments to GPL that auditors unearthed the strange transactions. Deonarine, who had been the DCEO responsible for administration, had reportedly wanted to receive the same level of pay as the then DCEO (Technical), Colin Welch, but his approaches to the Board of Directors were rebuffed. He had reportedly offered to repay the money but GPL was supposed to have waited until it was transferred from his US bank account.
Duncan, who is the President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) and General Secretary of the Guyana Labour Union (GTU), was instructed to return to court on May 6.
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