SOCU questions six former members of Rice Board

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Six former members of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) are scheduled to appear in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Friday, May 19, 2017) according to Attorney Anil Nandlall.

Former General Manager of the GRDB, Jagnarine Singh, Head of the Rice Producers Association (RPA), Dharamkumar Seeraj, Former Deputy General Manager of GRDB, Ricky Ramraj, Former Deputy Permanent Secretary (Finance), Prema Ramanah-Roopnarine, PPP Parliamentarian, Nigel Dharamlall and former member of the GRDB, Badrie Persaud were today (Thursday, May 18, 2017) charged by the Special Organised Unit (SOCU).

The former members were charged for Fraudulent Commission under  Section 204 of the Criminal Offences Act Chapter 8:01

According to Nandlall, the charges are “frivolous”. He said it concerns the failure to make certain entries in relation to monies received through a foreign funded project.

“They are charging them jointly for omitting to record the particular inflow of fund into some book…the charge has an element to it, because you are expected to omit to do so if you intend to defraud” Nandlall told media operative.

He argued that “there is no evidence that this money was missing, that the money was not spent for the purpose of which it was disbursed. In fact, the money was spent for the purpose for which it was disbursed…The international lending agency would’ve only released monies having been satisfied that the account procedures were complied with because it’s a revolving fund that you get replenishment.”

He added that it is strange that the Board members are being charged instead of the Accountants for the lack of making an entry into the records of the GRDB.

It is believed that the charges are as a result of a financial audit conducted into the GRDB last year. The audit found that there were glaring financial irregularities in relation to monies obtained for the PetroCaribe Fund.

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