The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Guyana Police Force is investigating allegations of corrupt practices perpetuated by acting Registrar of the Deeds Registry of the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority, Azeena Baksh.
Kaieteur News understands that it was the Ministry of Legal Affairs that put the matter in the hands of the police.
Yesterday, the Ministry said that staff of the Deeds Registry “called upon the Ministry of Legal Affairs to investigate their complaints of alleged financial improprieties” committed by Baksh.
The Ministry said that it referred the complaints to CID through Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum.
According to the Ministry, the Human Resource and Accounting Departments have complained that as Head of the Budget Agency and sole person in authority to approve and sign off the payroll of the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority and one of the main signatories on the Authority’s Bank Account, the Registrar unlawfully paid herself gratuity.
It is alleged that she did this well knowing that she was a pensionable employee having been appointed by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
“Registrar Baksh further unlawfully paid herself a higher salary than was approved by the JSC.”
Legal Affairs stated that the Deeds Registry officers have disclosed that these payments started since 2014 and continued up to the present. The payments amount to some $4.5M.
The Deeds Registry has also laid over with the Ministry of Legal Affairs documents revealing that Baksh “out of revenue due, owing and payable to the Authority in or around the sum of $8.5M, unlawfully waived the sum of $7M upon the request of an Attorney-at-Law, who paid only the sum of $1.5M.
Kaieteur News understands that Baksh remains on the job.
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