A NUMBER of senior officials from the former David Granger-led coalition government could face criminal charges in connection to the transfer of state assets well after the passage of historic December 2018 No Confidence Motion.
Attorney-General and Legal Affairs Minister, Hon. Anil Nandlall, SC, in a Thursday interview, acknowledged that while it is the intention of the current Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government to pursue the development of the country and its people, there is still a commitment to ensuring the actions of the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) government are examined.
“There are a number of transactions that were done under the previous government that will be subjected to investigations”, the Attorney General said, adding, “and charges may flow if those investigations yield those charges based upon the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution.”
Stressing that this is an ongoing process, the Attorney General said there are other things that have diverted the attention of the Guyana Police Force, but his party remains committed to the promise of investigating the former APNU+AFC government’s transactions.
“The police will begin their investigations. The files have been assembled already and they are on their way to the police,” Minister Nandlall remarked.
More specific to the matters under investigation, Mr. Nandlall said former Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has been implicated in a number of questionable transactions which we intended to send to the Police Force and to other law enforcement agencies.
The AG disclosed that one such matter involves the sale of several vehicles by the Guyana Revenue Authority, without due process, to relatives of a former APNU+AFC government minister.
Additionally, the AG relayed that a number of state properties valued millions of United States (US) dollars were sold below market value, without public procurement, between the period of the passage of the No-Confidence Motion in December 2018 and the conclusion of the 2020 General and Regional Elections on August 2, 2020.
“I don’t think that we’ve even touched the tip of the iceberg,” Nandlall cautioned reservedly, referring to the disposal of state lands under the former David Granger-led government.
Noting there are hundreds of questionable transactions, AG Nandlall disclosed that these lands are particularly essential for Guyana’s oil and gas sector as they are high-value lands located along the oceanfront and on the banks of Guyana’s rivers.
“What we are focused on are simply a few [of those lands] in the vicinity of Ogle, and along the East Bank of Demerara,” AG Nandlall continued, “but a large part of those transactions have not been handed over to the investigative arm of the state.”
Returning to a previous debacle involving the former APNU+AFC government’s attempt to conceal an US$18 million signing bonus paid to the Government of Guyana by ExxonMobil in 2016, AG Nandlall said this matter is also ripe for consideration.
He noted further that not only was the money deposited in a Central Bank account authorized by former Finance Minister Jordan, in writing, but it is now unclear where the money has gone.
“I want to assure the public that this is not something we have swept under the carpet,” the Attorney General emphatically stressed, adding, “we will continue to persevere in ensuring that these promises are delivered.”