Charrandass admits to US$1M gold deal

Former MP, Charrandass Persaud

…claims he was negotiating for one of his clients

FORMER Member of Parliament Charrandass Persaud has admitted to advancing discussions on the purchase of US$1M in gold. The embattled lawyer who was recalled from the Parliament of Guyana after voting with the opposition to bring down his government, made the admission during a town hall meeting in Queens, New York on Saturday. His admission comes at a time when he is being investigated  by the Guyana Police Force in an alleged case of bribery and possible money laundering.

See more here: Charrandass in deal to buy gold

Interacting with a small group from the diaspora in the form of a teleconference, Persaud said he had approached the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs official Errol Ross for assistance in acquiring the gold; not for him, but his clients.

“One of my clients wanted to buy gold, I negotiated, I went to enquire about price,” he said while adding that he and Ross had extensive discussions via whatsapp on the procurement of the gold. Ross, when contacted by the Guyana Chronicle on Monday, did not deny nor confirm that he was approached by Persaud to secure US$1M worth in gold. He would only say that it is an active police investigation, and that he is cooperating with the police.
But for Persaud, there is nothing wrong in acquiring US$1M worth of gold. “What is wrong in buying gold? Any one of you wouldn’t love to have a piece of raw gold to buy from one of the miners so you can make jewellery for your son, your grandson, your wife,” he questioned.

According to him, he was simply trying to assist his clients. “I have clients who are still looking for gold. So I was negotiating with a couple of dealers finding out the price, what it would be if you buy it in Guyana or if they ship it and we pay for it and receive it in Canada. That is what I was doing,” he sought to explain.

Persaud said he has no issue submitting himself for a polygraph test. “Yes I will submit to it, and I will tell you, and I will tell you that they cannot – the lie detector, no matter what they do with it, will not find that I accepted bribe because nobody has given me any money up to now, to say ‘look I am bribing you to vote’,” Persaud said.

According to him, he voted to topple the government on December 21, 2018 in order to remove the AFC Members of Parliament from the National Assembly. Shortly after voting, Persaud had explained that he was dissatisfied with his party’s performance, and had grown tired of being a “yes man.”

The investigation into the alleged plan to purchase US$1M worth in gold was launched by the police late last year. Last week, Commissioner of Police Leslie James, while noting that the case is an active one, said the investigation into former AFC Parliamentarian is a “matter of national security.” He declined to provide details.

However, according to reports, screenshots with a number belonging to the embattled politician are being used as evidence in the case. “I need some REAL casreep…not the diluted one…let me know,” one of the messages stated according to News Room. The messages between Persaud and his friend concerning the purchase of the gold took place between December 6 and 13 days before the no-confidence motion was debated and moved against government. Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has said that the police are investigating and closing in on the case of bribery of former government MP.