Jan 01, 2018 News
Some Ministers of the Government of Guyana are being accused of taking kickbacks from certain settlements that the State has made with a few big companies.
The fact that Government seems to need little or no basis to make decisions to settle with companies for huge amounts has raised eyebrows. The case with BK International where the government decided to settle based on a letter was cited.
A usually reliable source indicated that it was recently found that the government settled yet another multi-million dollar case with BK International.
This is a case between the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and BK International.
“The case that was filed under the previous government just suddenly disappeared out of the system,” the source said.
The source continued, “It is a totally fabricated matter. BK had occupied a piece of land where GPL placed a generator at Vreed-en-Hoop. It was government land, I believe. GPL went and cleared the land. (Owner of BK, Brian) Tiwarie had old iron and they put in some bush along the river bank. BK fabricated a claim suing for $700M.”
This newspaper understands that a defence was filed and it was stated that the iron that Tiwarie claimed that he lost was indeed still in the bush. It was also stated that GPL had to pay about $3M to remove the scrap iron.
However, BK maintained that he had bulldozers and caterpillar loaders on the land.
The source told this newspaper that the matter was settled but could not say how much exactly the settlement was.
The Government has made a US$5.7M out of court settlement with BK over a simple threatening letter. The source said, “Tiwarie did not collect all that money; Government officials benefitted.”
“Remember, there was also the Rudisa settlement. They benefitted from that too. That settlement was negotiated even before elections. You might have noticed a few of them using KIA cars; Rudisa is the company that imports KIA cars to Guyana.”
The Consumption Tax settlement between the government and the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) has also raised eyebrows. The concerns there were fully ventilated in the media.
When he addressed the National Assembly during the Budget 2018 Debates, Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall noted the number of settlements that the government was making.
He said, “There is a new expenditure of very high proportions which the State is incurring but which you have not budgeted for. I will respectfully urge you to do some amendments and make provisions for this new expenditure.
“The new expenditure to which I refer is the amount of money that the State has been paying and will continue to pay for cases that are lost by the State and the costs and damages which are awarded by the courts. They are running into millions of US dollars and these judgments and costs are not being paid.
“Soon, contempt proceedings will be filed against you, as you are answerable for the satisfaction of these judgments. You must be aware that contempt proceedings, once successfully prosecuted, can result in the loss of your liberty, so you can ignore my advice at your own peril.”
Nandlall also quoted the CCJ description of the quality of legal representation which the State of Guyana provides. The CCJ recently, threw out the Attorney General’s appeal against DIPCON Limited over $400M judgment on the ground that the wrong application was made to the Court but more importantly, if the right application was made, the facts disclosed showed that the application would have lacked merit.
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