Ministry of Housing uproots fraudsters

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The Ministry of Housing has demonstrated its commitment to President Bharrat Jagdeo’s insistence on greater vigilance and efficiency in doing business by putting checks and balances in place to uproot instances of fraud in the Government’s housing programme.
From the inception of his stewardship of the Ministry of Housing and Water, young Minister Mohamed Irfaan Ali has been improving systems and initiating programmes to ensure greater effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the two sectors for which he holds portfolios.

The several programmes he has initiated to create more efficient management and supervisory systems have impacted tremendously in both service delivery and functionality of the Ministry, redounding to the general good of the communities being served countrywide.
However, despite his meticulous oversight of these systems, instances of fraud periodically come to light in sting operations conducted by Ministry officials, acting in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force.
Yesterday Ministry officials, in collaboration with the police, penetrated the operations of a network and discovered a massive scheme of fraud, involving persons pretending to be employees of the Ministry, who bilked numerous persons of millions of dollars by fraudulently soliciting monies under the pretence that they could acquire house lots for the victims.
During a search of the perpetrators’ homes, the Ministry’s Field Team, working in conjunction with the police, discovered false receipts, application forms, land titles, a laptop computer, and packets of money.
Minister Irfaan Ali said that the success of this discovery is the result of the improved systems within the Ministry, which has procedural checks and balances aimed at discovering and uprooting schemes like these.
Late 2009, the Minister announced that a comprehensive field audit would be conducted to validate every house lot, and to address instances where allottees have abused the system.
According to the Minister, to date, more than 200 transactions were unearthed where allottees illegally sold their house lots.  He said that within the last four weeks, various sting operations that were set up by the Ministry, working together with the Police, have broken the backs of several fraudulent schemes.
Minister Ali expressed his pleasure and satisfaction that “…the monitoring systems and field work are paying such dividends.”
He reiterated that the only competent authority to deal with allocations, or any other business relating to Government house lots, is the CHPA.
The Housing Minister is again urging persons with information of any fraudulent transaction to visit the Ministry in an effort to rid the society of “these vultures.”