On Monday Chief Magistrate Ann Mc Lenann issued an arrest warrant for the former accountant of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Peter Ramcharran.
One week ago, five charges were filed against the former accountant. The five charges are all for falsification of accounts while he was employed at that entity.
The charges were read in Ramcharran’s absence.
The former accountant is now residing in Canada and is reportedly reluctant to return because he believes his life could be in danger.
Special prosecutor Patrice Henry told the court at the time that Ramcharran was aware that he should have been in court to hear the charges; however he did not present himself.
The Chief Magistrate had said that at the next hearing on June 5, the head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) needed to be present in court to confirm that Ramcharran was indeed informed that he should have been at court the day the warrant was issued.
On Monday last, SOCU head, Sydney James, was present in court and confirmed that Ramcharran knew that he should have been in court to face the five charges.
A police source told Kaieteur News that when an arrest warrant is issued by the court, the police are informed and the necessary steps are taken to make the arrest.
Now that Ramcharran is living in Canada the source explained that the arrest information for the charged account will be passed on to the International Police Organization (INTERPOL). The source said if that aspect on the probe proves unsuccessful then other methods will be explored.
The official explained that the arrest warrant is not an extradition request but this would be the next logical step if Ramcharran is not apprehended soon.
The official explained that the extradition request will have to be made by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) or the Attorney General. However this will be contemplated only when all avenues have been exhausted in securing Ramcharran’s arrest.
The head of SOCU, Assistant Commissioner Sydney James, told this newspaper that the former accountant has been heavily implicated in the probe with regards to the six former GRDB board members that were charged.
The GRDB found itself in the spotlight after a forensic audit of that entity revealed among some of the “anomalies” found were loans without proper paperwork or promissory notes.
There were other instances of persons in the agency using GRDB’s money to trade in foreign currency.
The losses for the government would have been significant, especially if the money was traded for less than it should have been.
The Auditor General and the forensic audit reports have all pointed to severe deficiencies in the manner the monies of the state have been handled by the entities.
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