A local commercial bank has reportedly launched an investigation into how hundreds of millions of dollars were reportedly paid out to a Bartica gold dealer without proper procedures being followed.
The incident has since seen a senior bank manager of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) being sent home last week after details of the transaction became known.
Multiple banking and other sources confirmed that more than a week ago, the gold dealer, Saddiqi ‘Bobby’ Rasul, of Bartica, deposited more than $900M in cheques, into his bank accounts.
Under banking regulations, those cheques, drawn on another commercial bank, were supposed to be cleared first before payments could be honoured against them. However, staffers reportedly went ahead and effected payments without the cheques, drawn on Citizens Bank, being cleared.
The Citizens Bank cheques later bounced because of insufficient funds.
Investigations by GBTI officials reportedly found that its staffers did not follow regulations on placing a hold on those Citizens Bank cheques, therefore potentially causing significant losses to the bank.
The matter has been reported to Bank of Guyana – the regulators.
Sources indicated that Citizens Bank has closed the gold dealer’s accounts and GBTI followed suit this week.
GBTI officials are mum on the issue.
It is unclear whether the bank has reported the matter to the police.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to knowingly issue cheques when there is no money in their bank accounts.
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