Gold Board GM, others remain on leave

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It has been almost five months since three persons from the Guyana Gold Board were sent on leave pending an investigation by the Special Organised Unit (SOCU) and according to Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, his Ministry is awaiting word from the police on the way forward.

In April of this year, General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board, Lisaveta Ramotar, along with her deputy, Andrea Seelochan and the compliance officer, were sent on administrative leave to facilitate a probe into the operations of the board.

The probe was launched following allegations of the officials’ involvement in an alleged money-laundering ring with licensed gold dealer Saddiqi Rafeek Mohamed Rasul.

Trotman told News Room on Wednesday that the “persons remain on leave subject to the police’s advice to me. They had written asking that these persons be sent on leave to facilitate the investigation and I complied so I will await word from them as to the status of that investigation and then we’ll make further pronouncements.”

On Monday last, Head of SOCU, Sydney James disclosed that the probe is being finalized and will be submitted shortly to the police legal adviser.

Licensed gold dealer Saddiqi Rafeek Mohamed Rasul appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court in April, charged with six counts of obtaining money by false pretence. Rasul, who owns SSS Minerals Trading Enterprise, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and pleaded not guilty to the charge, which alleged that he is involved in a $956M fraud at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) between March 21 and 22, 2017.

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