Dec 03, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – The Government has filed a lawsuit against businessman, Larry Singh, over his failure to honour an arms deal worth over $380M with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
According to documents electronically filed in the High Court, Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, in his capacity as the State’s legal representative, has asked the Court to grant orders to recover over $369M from Singh for his failure to supply arms and ammunition to the GDF.
The Fixed Date Application (FDA) outlined that the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) had granted approval for the GDF to sole source the supplies in three contracts awarded to Singh for a total of $380,527,421.00 but he only supplied $10,932,150.00 worth of the weapons to the army.
According to the details of the contracts dated March 30, 2016, November 18, 2015 and December 15, 2014, the GDF sought to procure 500 x 10-gauge blank cartridges; 50 x Taurus 9mm pistols; 500 x AK-47 Rifles; 200,000 x 7.62 x 41 balls and 50,000 x 9 mm; 50 x 9mm glock pistols; 500 AK-47 rifles; 200,000 x ball ammo; 50,000 9mm ammo and 32,100 9mm ball STD and an additional 100 AK-47 rifles.
The documents noted however, that the only items Singh supplied were 500 x 10-gauge blank cartridges; 200 x 12-gauge blank cartridges and 50 x 9mm glock pistols.
The AG is therefore asking that the Court find Singh liable of breach for each contract.
Alluding to terms of the contract, the AG pointed out that each contract contains a clause stating that, “GDF shall not be liable for, in respect of any damages or compensation payable by law, in respect or in the consequence of any accident or injury to the supplier in the performance of his duties under the contract and the supplier shall indemnify and keep indemnified the Force against such damages and compensation and against all claims, demands, proceedings, damages, costs, charges and expenses whatsoever in respect thereof.”
Additionally, the AG said that the respondent (Singh) in all three of the contracts agreed to supply quality products in Georgetown, Guyana to the GDF; to be solely responsible for shipment of the weapons from countries of origin to Guyana; to ensure that the correct weapons are delivered within 150 days after the Bill of Laden is provided.
In an affidavit in support of the court action, GDF Chief-of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess, pointed to the general terms of the contract which states that in an event that the contractor appears to be performing the services of an unprofessional or in substandard manner or if there is any reason or cause to believe that the contractor is causing undue delay in the supply of the ammunition then the contractor is to be given a written warning and seven days from the date of receipt of the warning, to rectify the situation.
The terms added further that in the event that the contractor fails to rectify the situation in the aforementioned circumstances, then the Force may, without prejudice, terminate the agreement and the contractor shall be liable to the Force.
It was emphasized that, “any differences regarding the interpretation or application of this agreement shall be resolved amicably by the consultation between the parties. [However] the differences, which are not resolved in the matter, are to be referred to the Secretary, Guyana Defence Board, for determination.”
In reference to the aforementioned conditions and warranties contained in the contracts, the AG said that the respondent has failed and or refused to supply the number of weapons and or ammunition for which he has received payments and he is indebted to the GDF in the manner set out in the claim.
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