Canadian authorities arrested Peter Ramcharran, former accountant of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), yesterday, more than two weeks after an arrest warrant was issued by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
While details were sketchy, a senior Government official last evening confirmed that the arrest happened early yesterday. The lawmen managed to track down Ramcharran based on immigration and other records.
Canadian authorities have since asked local officials here for more information, before they can start proceedings to send him back home.
Last month, charges were filed against the former accountant for falsification of accounts while he was employed at that entity.
The charges were read in Ramcharran’s absence.
The former accountant had been residing in Canada and was reportedly reluctant to return because he believes his life could be in danger.
Special prosecutor Patrice Henry had 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 at the hearing on June 5, that 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.
That day, 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.
With Ramcharran living in Canada the source explained that the arrest information for the charged account was passed to the International Police Organization (INTERPOL). The official explained that the arrest warrant is not an extradition request but this would be the next logical step.
James had told this newspaper that the former accountant is 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.
Last month, six former GRDB officials were charged.
It was alleged that between 2012 to 2015, the six officials committed the acts knowing that it was contrary to the entity’s standard operating procedures. They were not required to plead to the indictable offence.
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