May 07, 2017 News
By Brushell Blackman
A source has confirmed to Kaieteur News that at least seven public officials, including past and current will be charged shortly. According to the source, the charges stem from investigations from one entity.
The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has been conducting a number of investigations after forensic audits were conducted at a number of government entities.
The APNU+AFC administration when in opposition, had asserted that there was widespread malfeasance under the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration.
The source said that the entity under the investigative microscope of SOCU has over 30 active investigations and that the ten charges result from two completed investigations.
These charges will certainly be laid. The source divulged that there are some ‘very complex’ investigations that SOCU is conducting at this very entity.
The source also said that once these are completed more persons will be charged in addition to the seven officials.
The individual said that while some of those that will be charged are former public officials, others that will face the same fate are holders of senior positions in the current administration.
The individual said that while they have a good idea who the individuals are it would be unwise to name them since SOCU is mindful of persons fleeing the jurisdiction to escape prosecution.
Kaieteur News has learnt that after the publication of the article ‘SOCU’s investigations involve GY$1.5 Trillion in alleged misappropriated state funds… 30 files sent to DPP and police legal adviser, none returned’, significant progress has been made in many of the investigations.
The legal authorities are now working assiduously to finalize many of these cases, readying them for prosecution.
The matter is also now engaging the attention of the government. Attorney General Basil Williams, SC. has now been tasked with addressing the issue of the six ‘none cooperative’ special Prosecutors.
The police legal advisor had informed that the officials were not pulling their weight as she works to build ‘water tight’ cases in readiness for successful prosecution.
The impending charges of seven officials are unprecedented and have re-enforced the government’s resolve in tackling and eradicating corruption.
To date, only two officials, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Presidency, Omar Shariff, and former head of the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) Nizam Hassan are before the courts for alleged fraudulent activities in public office.
Under Hassan’s stewardship at the GMC, it is alleged that state funds were misappropriated during the renovation of the GMC office.
Shariff, whose bank account was found to have billions of dollars told investigators that those monies were the proceeds of phone card sale. He was subsequently fired from the Ministry of Presidency.
SOCU currently has 19 forensic audits that were passed to that entity after acts of criminality were found. The 19 audit reports handed over to SOCU are National Investment and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL); the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC); Cricket World Cup (CWC); Pradoville 2; the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB); Guyana Power and Light (GPL); Mahaica Mahaicony Abary-Agriculture Development Association (MMA/ADA); Guyana Office for Investment (GOINVEST); the Hydro Met office; National Communications Network (NCN); Marriot Hotel; Guyana Energy Agency (GEA); Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil)/GEA; Guyana Gold Board (GGB); National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU); One Laptop programme; E-Governance; Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Ministry of Legal Affairs (Law Reports).
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