Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Mr. Omar Shariff has been sent on leave by Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon.
In a letter dated June 30, 2016 to Mr. Shariff, Minister Harmon wrote, “You will recall having informed me that you are now the subject of an investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) of the Guyana Police Force”.
In a statement from the Ministry, it was noted that the Minister, therefore, informed Mr. Shariff in that letter that he should proceed on his Annual Leave from July 1, 2016 to enable him to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communities, Ms. Abena Moore will take up the role of Acting Permanent Secretary at MOTP.
Additionally, reports stated that Shariff was today arrested by police in connection with a money laundering and tax evasion case.
The Permanent secretary was featured in the more than $600 million fraud that was uncovered at the former Ministry of Public Service, following the change in government earlier this year.
Former Public Service Minister, Jennifer Westford and her ex-Personal Assistant, Margaret Cummings were earlier this year ordered to pay a total of $9.6M bail after being slapped with several charges relating to fraud committed at the Ministry.
The charges allege that between August 2011 and April 2015, while being employed in the Public Service of the Government of Guyana, Westford and Cummings stole $639,420,000 belonging to the state.