May 25, 2017 News
… Official now resides in Canada
One week after six former Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) officials were charged and bailed for failing to make a proper entry into a register of a company. The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) wants to question former accountant of the GRDB, Peter Ramcharran.
This was made known by Head of SOCU, Assistant Commissioner Sydney James. He added that his organization wants to question Ramcharran since investigations have revealed that he has been heavily implicated with the six persons who were recently charged.
The six officials charged are former General Manager of the GRDB Jagnarine Singh; General Secretary of the Rice Producers Association and former GRDB board member, Dahramkumar Seeraj; Former Deputy General Manager Madanlall Ramraj; Former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and former GRDB Board member, Nigel Dharamlall; Former General Manager of Guyana Oil Company and former GRDB board member, Badrie Persaud; and Deputy Permanent Secretary Finance Ministry of Agriculture, Prema Roopnarine.
They were all placed on $500,000 bail and ordered to lodge their passports with the police and must report to SOCU every Monday at 9AM.
According to James, Ramcharran was responsible for ‘signing off’ on a number of questionable transactions that were traced to the six officials charged and others caught up in the GRDB probe.
This newspaper has learnt that Ramcharran who left Guyana for Canada moments before the GRDB forensic audit was commissioned has been speaking with SOCU agents.
This newspaper has learnt that Ramcharran was asked to return to answer for his questionable financial decision-making. However he allegedly told SOCU agents that he was fearful of returning to Guyana since his life could be in danger.
Confronted with such constraints SOCU is now sure that it will be approaching the Canadian government to assist in having Ramcharran extradited to Guyana to face the court.
According to Assistant Commissioner James, the entity he heads is actively working to ensure that Ramcharran is returned in due course and with little humbug.
James said that he could not say how much money Ramcharran might have misappropriated but did indicate that it was many millions. He said he could not divulge because he did not want to prejudice the investigations into GRDB’s probe.
One GRDB official told Kaieteur News that three of the six officials recently charged were signatories to the Republic Bank account that was mentioned during the charges.
The official said the same account should have been used to execute projects pertaining to the rice industry. It was that same account, according to the official, that monies were taken from to purchase a Toyota Primo for a Ministry of Agriculture official.
The official who does not wish to be named said that the vehicle purchase was not a project. Besides, the car was allegedly bought for the official’s personal use.
Further, the official said that two of those officials who were recently charged are signatories to the account and they must have known they were signing off on a questionable transaction.
When SOCU raided GRDB sometime back, this newspaper reported that SOCU agents were trying to locate a vehicle that should have been in the possession of the GRDB.
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