Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
May 02, 2017 News
As the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) continues to investigate alleged malfeasance by a number of former public officials, the unit continues to be frustrated by the sloth at which files sent for legal advice are being
When contacted head of SOCU Assistant Commissioner Sydney James said that he was unable to comment on any ongoing investigations, but he did admit that a number of files have been sent for legal recommendation.
James said that while his unit awaits the instruction from the police legal adviser and the DPP, he is happy with the work he and his officers have been doing. It was only recently that the agency announced that plans are afoot to hire a number of investigators to augment the work of that entity.
This newspaper has learnt that a number of potential investigators have been interviewed and 15 have been shortlisted. That list is now engaging the attention of the police commissioner.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, James opined that his unit has been coping admirably and can only wait on the legal advice by those vested with that power.
James was asked if he is frustrated at the pace at which those sent files are returned with the necessary instructions; to which he noted that a number of factors have to be taken into consideration. Chief among them is the intricate nature of investigations that SOCU is involved with, and the amount of time that is needed to finalize certain aspects of such investigations.
That aside, it was one month ago that SOCU in dramatic fashion arrested and summoned a number of former government officials to answer questions in relation to suspected irregularities while they would have been in public office.
Investigators, for example, have been trying to ascertain if some of those officials who bought house lots at the controversial Pradoville 2 Scheme did so knowing that those house lots were well below the market value or whether officials attached to the Ministry of Housing at the time were at fault for such a shortcoming. To date, nothing has been done in relation to this investigation that officially commenced almost two months ago. There has also been a probe in relation to alleged wrongdoing at the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) during the previous administration.
Additionally there were forensic audits done at the National Communications Network (NCN) and the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC). Those audits were ordered by the ruling administration and a number of glaring irregularities were found. The results of those audits were passed on to SOCU for investigation.
Then there was the investigation into fraud at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and according to Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma some of the most glaring irregularities were found when an audit of that entity was conducted.
Although the former head of GRDB was called in for questioning by SOCU, the public still awaits something meaningful from that investigation.
One senior government official said that he suspects that it is due to the intricate nature of many of these investigations that is causing the sloth of the legal advice. Additionally, the official said that there might be other factors that are contributing to the current state of affairs at SOCU to which he would refrain from surmising.
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Lies, Lies, Lies!!!
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