Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is convinced that the APNU+AFC Coalition’s success at the last General and Regional elections was hinged on the fact that officials were able to convince the masses that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government was wholly corrupt.
However, at his last press conference, Jagdeo noted that three years since the change of Government, the mass corruption that was promulgated as being perpetuated by PPP/C officials is still to be proven.
Jagdeo said it is either a case where corruption did not exist in the proportions claimed or the government is going about its business to get the evidence—to prove corruption—all wrong.
Giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe, the technique is wrong, Jagdeo sought to offer some guidance to the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) and “the others.”
He told the media, “I heard that SARA said that by the third or fourth quarter of this year, they would be going to recover money from people who have bank accounts abroad over US$10M. But, I do not see them filing any case.
I hope that they will do that. They said they were collaborating with the people abroad who should have found this money by now.”
Jagdeo continued, “I urge the President to hire an internationally reputable firm specialized in this area to trace people’s assets in banks, real estate, shares and so on. They can do that quickly and make a report to the nation about all of that. But nothing is being done there.
“That is where the big bucks are supposed to be. Then there is the procurement fraud, which should be easy to address. They said we were stealing $28B to $35B a year, it must have happened through contracts awarded because it is fraud. Why not go back to those contracts and see which one that happened with?”
Jagdeo said that $35B is no little amount and should be easy to trace.
He said too, “They did 50 audits. Sharma said there is no evidence to charge.
The President (at his last press conference) said people do not leave evidence lying around but I thought the forensic audit was meant to dig the evidence and to get the people.”
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