Kaieteur News – I am not in receipt of evidence that the real life James Bond, has been engaged in or involved in corruption in relation to assets owned by the people of Guyana, so I am going to stay away from that arena because I am not going to allow the man with the licence to kill, to kill me in the court.
Al I know is what has been carried in several newspapers. It is reported that Bond secured land from NICIL through a company which in turn transferred said land to an investor and Bond collected sums in American money that when the exchange rate is taken into account is $220 million.
The police and SOCU have been called in. There is an investigation but the Attorney General publicly said that the Bond transaction was not above board. Maybe Bond will invoke his licence to go after the AG. I will not give Bond the opportunity to invoke his licence to confront me. But I still can ask some legitimate questions.
When a person applies to NICIL to lease huge amounts of state lands as Bond did, don’t you have to produce relevant information about your life? What type of business you have? How many years the business was in operation? What is your financial standing? Also information about GRA tax clearance and other related dimensions is requested. I would think in any country those requirements are standard.
A project document has to be submitted. That is where the consultants make their money. The investor hires a consultancy firm to prepare the project document. Any Tom or Harry just cannot apply for 20 acres of state land and not meet those requirements. This country has a land usage policy. Of course I am assuming Bond meet these legal demands.
To award lands of that magnitude without insisting on the submission of those documents is a case of the law of the jungle. For example; a man applies for the job of Governor of the Bank of Guyana. The requirement is a higher degree in finance, banking, accountancy and economics. But the job was given to someone with a higher degree in linguistics.
I may be wrong but I don’t know Bond was ever involved in any kind of large scale business to allow NICIL to award him 20 acres of land. What about NICIL? Did it follow legal procedure in the lease to Bond? The chairman of NICIL, before the board was changed in August this year, was WPA bigwig, Dr. Maurice Odle. One hopes Odle would speak to the public about the ‘James Bond moves’.
Bond is known in the sphere of politics as being an aggressive, street fighter. Not known for diplomatic and suave approaches, the man with the licence to sell and the licence to kill is becoming soft; not normally soft but really soft. When the media solicited a comment about his licence to sell, he said he is not talking. When pressed he maintained his stance of silence. This is not the Bond I know.
This is not the James Bond that is always performing the role of bad boy for PNC politics. One can recall that during the five-month rigging of the 2020 poll, Bond rented two huge trucks that were driving all over Georgetown and Bond was sharing out pamphlets announcing the APNU+AFC as the winner. I asked a PNC youth if it was the PNC that financed the operation, to which he replied, “Na maan, James gat money bhai; yuh see duh kyaar dah man driving.” The youth was right, Bond does have money. He has not denied he received $220 million from the land lease.
I come now to the car Bond is seen driving. I am writing based on the vehicle I see Bond driving. If it is not his own, I stand corrected. It is the latest model, Range Rover SUV with sun roof. I am told that such an expensive item will attract GRA duty of $50M. That sum was arrived at by an engineer at the Eugene F. Correia Airport.
I asked a car dealer and he said he would put it at $45M but it could be $50M. I see Bond with that vehicle all the time, and I thought of doing a column asking the GRA if the correct duty was paid. I never went through with it because GRA would not tell me and I didn’t want Bond to sue me. Last time I met Bond, he reminded me that my hair has suddenly turned grey. This is because I worry all the time because I don’t have money. When you worry about not having money, your hair turns grey.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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