Dec 20, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Think of this issue in this simple manner: a debt of $1,000 dollars is owed because of tricks and cheatings. A promise made-indeed, a very firm commitment, complete with ringing attorney assurances-that all deceived parties will be repaid within 30 days. And despite continuing speeches and what we believe are nothing more than practised public performances, all that some of the bilked have received is less than a dollar.
This is what thousands of cheated Guyanese investors, some of them borderline poor, have had to contend with, in the last few months. That is, the equivalent of less than a dollar on a $1000 dollar debt, obtained by fanciful and allegedly outright fraudulent means. It is not only insulting and alarming, it makes a mockery of Guyana, its judicial system, and its negatively impacted citizens. It makes for troubling observation, and wondering as to the effectiveness of local laws.
In everyday life, when such a circumstance occur (and multiplying the numbers by many zeros), matters could deteriorate to the nasty swiftly. The repeatedly jilted may resort to taking matters into their own hands: let the chips fall, which would be indicative of the frustrations and rages stoked by what appears to be yet more con games being played out before a court that has been understanding and patient for too long, before a country that functions in states of brazen lawlessness.
It is in this state that the attorney for the two alleged conspirators to defraud the investing public, endeavours valiantly to deliver damage control, to offer the soothing, which only triggers more scorning and disbelieving from the general public. He is trying hard, but does not have much to work with, since his clients have not given much that incurs confidence in their truthfulness, even in their genuine willingness to step up and deliver, and bring a satisfactory conclusion to a situation that has lingered too long.
But there is another side to this coin of calculated greed brought to full flower by carefully scripted actions always intended to separate gullible people from their money.
The other side of this sordid story of wrongdoing is that the longer it remains in the unsparing gaze of the public, the better the lessons that are there to be learned. The first is that this early Ponzi scheme involving some 17,000 unthinking and unsettled Guyanese and $4B dollars is but a learning experience, the growing pains that are indicative of what is to come.
Care should be taken to note that there is neither hedging nor conditioning in our position at this paper. It is of what it is to come, as sure as the stars come out at night, moon or no moon.
Because we have oil, we are now a frontier, the biggest, broadest, most beckoning of frontiers anywhere in the world at this time.
They will come in droves. Think of dogs in heat, or addicts around a liquor truck spill. That is what oil does in every place that it has been found. The gamblers and prostitutes and heavy hitters and schemers will come as part of the influx. They will blend in nicely, or try to do so, with the rollicking crowd of oil adventurers and explorers. Those will come to invest money and make much money in the many lucrative opportunities that are there for the begging. And amongst this wave of outsiders, which provides the perfect cover, there will be the hustlers and cheaters and tricksters. They will come with one grand scheme after another to shore up Guyanese hopes and dreams with their false promises of getting in on the big-time and making big money, and it is all such a big easy exercise that there is not an iota of risk.
That is the next lesson that we share today. Beware and be sensible, when the Ponzi schemers come. For there is no such thing as no risk, not where cash is concerned, when strangers (and friends, too) come calling with their surefire schemes overloaded with danger. Remember this last lesson: when deceit is the name of the game, it is over before it started. There is no upside; be sensible, please!
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