Sep 13, 2017 News
Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Building Society, Maurice Arjoon, is set to levy on movable assets of the mortgage lender, New Building Society (NBS).
The entity was in July ordered to pay the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) over $79.2M in outstanding pension and other benefits but had appealed the judgment.
Sanjeev Datadin and Ganesh Hira have joined Senior Counsel Edward Luckhoo, on Arjoon’s team.
Last week, the legal team successfully applied for a Writ of Execution directed to the Marshal of the High Court to levy on the movable property of NBS, and if not enough, to even on the immovable property.
The plaintiff, Arjoon, has named as defendants NBS, Trust Company (Guyana) Limited, former CEO, Ahmad Khan, Director Seepaul Narine and Nizam Mohamed, staffer, both of whom are trustees of NBS Pension Fund.
The application for the writ was based on the judgment of July 20, last, by Justice Brassington Reynolds against NBS for $20.2M with interest of six percent from June 2007.
The writ also covered for levy actions on a further $59M, representing pension payments and interest. There were other costs that the Marshal will move to recover.
Nine years have passed since the former CEO and two of his Managers, Kent Vincent and Kissoon Baldeo, were all arrested and charged with stealing over $60M.
However, the men were exonerated and an independent Ombudsman’s investigation raised worrying questions on why Arjoon and the Managers were ever charged in the first place.
Arjoon filed a High Court case seeking damages in excess of $500M and his pension and other benefits.
After the matter dragged on for more than six years, Judge Reynolds in a decision in July awarded $79M in lost pension and other benefits. There were no awards for damages.
Arjoon had long claimed that he and his Managers were set up and charged, at the direction of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, after he refused to sink almost $2B of NBS money in the construction of the Berbice River Bridge.
The CEO claimed that the lending of NBS money in that manner would have been highly illegal, breaching financial laws.
NBS later still went ahead, after the men were sacked, and purchased shares in the Berbice River Bridge.
Acknowledging that the mortgage company has signaled its intentions to appeal the judgment, Arjoon and his family in a statement shared on social media, said that NBS had provided no acceptable reason why he was dismissed, and no objection on the pension claim, during the High Court case.
Arjoon has since filed a cross-appeal for more than half of a billion in damages.
“I was therefore very surprised when the Judge “awarded” my pension due for the past 10 years and unpaid salary, but none of the $550M in damages and consequently. It is my opinion that I won the battle but NBS won the war.”
The former CEO said that during the High Court trial, it was also proven, without a doubt, that he was illegally dismissed by the then Board, contrary to the stipulations of labour laws.
He said that with the outcome of this case and previously that of the wrongful charge and the Ombudsman’s findings, it is his hope that civil society as well as the Private Sector Commission, the Bankers Association, the Bar Association and other relevant organisations will speak out against the perpetrators of “heinous crimes” against the two former Managers, Kent Vincent and Kissoon Baldeo and himself, in an effort at also ensuring there is never any repetition of injustice and abuse of power.
Back in 2007, Arjoon was accused of conspiracy to defraud the NBS of $69M along with Baldeo and Vincent. The latter two said they suffered irreparable harm from the negative publicity and loss of salaries and benefits.
At the time of the charges in 2007, chairing the Board of NBS was Dr. Nanda Gopaul. He later became a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, under the Jagdeo administration and then the Minister of Labour. Also sitting on the Board then, was union leader, Seepaul Narine.
The NBS Board is currently chaired by Floyd McDonald, a former Commissioner of Police.
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