Oct 09, 2017 News
– deems move as “reckless, negligent and unauthorised”
Attorney at Law, Anil Nandlall had accused the Gaming Authority of misusing critical and personal information that it was handed in good faith. Nandlall said that he has had cause to write the Authority’s Chairman, Roysdale Forde on this issue.
Nandlall said that the Gaming Authority has handed over to the Attorney General the entire casino license application submitted to it by Sleep-Inn International Hotel.
In the letter he sent to Forde, Nandlall established that he is the legal representative of Clifton Bacchus, the owner of Sleep-Inn. He noted that his client made applications to the Gaming Authority in April of this year, but those were refused. Nandlall said that the reason proffered for the refusal was that the applications did not contain all the requisite information.
Nandlall further noted, “You ought to be also aware that similar applications have been re-submitted by my clients on or about the 4th October, 2017. I have no doubt that you appreciate that these applications contain volumes of personal confidential financial information of my clients and others who have invested in the venture and therefore, a lawful obligation devolves upon the Gaming Authority to ensure that this information is secured and kept with the highest degree of confidentiality.”
Nandlall went on to inform Forde that he instituted legal proceedings for libel on behalf of Clifton Bacchus, Yokohoma Trading (Guyana) Inc. and Pasha Global Inc. against the Guyana National Newspapers Inc. and the Editor of the Guyana Chronicle; those proceedings are pending in the High Court.
Nandlall said that on Friday last, his chambers were served with three Affidavits drawn by the Attorney-General for each of the aforesaid Respondents in the libel proceedings.
The letter stated, “Attached to each of those Affidavits, as an exhibit, are complete copies my clients’ applications for casino licences, along with all the personal confidential financial information contained therein which were submitted to the Gaming Authority, on the 5th day of April, 2017. These documents have been filed at the Supreme Court Registry and therefore have now become public documents accessible to the world.”
Nandlall told Forde that quite apart from the fact that the applications for casino licences are wholly irrelevant to the proceedings and the Affidavits to which they are attached do not explain their relevance, the attachment is an expression of manifest professional incompetence on the part of those who have done so.
‘My clients’ greater concern is how these applications, along with their personal confidential financial information, have reached the hands of the Editor of the Guyana Chronicle, the Guyana National Newspapers Limited and the Attorney-General. This appears to constitute a violent and flagrant breach of the confidentiality which the Gaming Authority owes to my clients to protect and secure personal confidential financial information supplied to it.
In the circumstances, I hereby request an explanation from the Gaming Authority on how this reckless, negligent and unauthorised disclosure of my clients’ personal confidential financial information was made to Editor of the Guyana Chronicle, the Guyana National Newspapers Limited and the Attorney-General, so that I can better advise my clients on their available resources.”
Nandlall admitted to this newspaper that there is nothing in the Prevention of Gambling Act that expressly prohibits the Gaming Authority from giving out information that was sent to it.
However, he said that any individual possessing even a bit of professionalism would refrain from giving out the financial information of an investor.
“It is basic common sense you cannot take people’s financial information and share it like that. There is something called the law of negligence where you owe me duty of care where a certain relationship exist where confidentiality can be imposed if you will breach that relationship.”
Nandlall also said that there is no law that says when you go to a doctor he or she cannot disclose your medical information for over 300 years doctors have not been able to do so. There is something called the common law.
Nandlall noted his several public utterances that speak to how unsafe the personal confidential financial information of citizens has become in recent times.
“We have seen a series of controversial legislations passed in the National Assembly, despite vehement public criticisms, which allow for the Guyana Revenue Authority to invade persons’ bank accounts without any notice to them; that authorize the Guyana Revenue Authority to seize monies in persons’ bank accounts without a court order and without affording them a hearing, if the Commissioner-General adjudges that they owe taxes; that empowers the Commissioner-General to prevent persons from leaving the country without an order of court and again, without hearing them, if he adjudges that they owe VAT.”
Additionally, Nandlall said that the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) regularly divulges personal confidential financial information publically, of individuals who are under investigation, when such disclosures are prohibited under the AMLCFT Act.
“We have also witnessed top officials of SARU who regularly made public disclosures of a highly prejudicial nature of persons who they say they intend to investigate and in the process, divulging all sorts of personal confidential financial information about these persons.
“Now we have cold hard evidence of the same transgressions occurring at the Gaming Authority. Every citizen of this country must find this deeply troubling. Which investor will want to invest in a country where their personal confidential financial information is not secure?
That the Attorney General, the principal legal advisor to the government is the perpetrator of this serious infraction is a shocking demonstration that even at the highest level of government, there appears to be an inability to differentiate between basic right and wrong. The professional incompetence, negligence and recklessness showcased here are simply unparalleled.”
Efforts to contact both the Attorney General and Gaming Authority Chairman proved futile.
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