Gold Board assures miners following fraud of assays

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The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has sought to assure miners that their assay accounts have not been compromised after it was discovered that two employees manipulated documents in order to scam the entity of millions of dollars.

News Room first reported that the accountant, Rosanna Ramnarine and a clerk, Deborah Forbes manipulated assay results of sellers of gold to the Board; they were subsequently sent home earlier this week pending an investigation.

As a result of the News Room article, Chairman of GGB, GHK Lall, in a statement, today, confirmed that the two employees were sent home following the results of an internal investigation.

“This investigation is part of the Board’s enhanced due diligence efforts aimed at scrutinizing all activities and all areas relative to the GGB’s operations, and has been in place for a while now,” the statement noted.

News Room had reported that the employees allegedly reduced payments to clients and paid themselves the differences.  In other cases, clients’ entire assays were paid out without them being aware.  These payments amounted to millions of dollars, sometimes in a one-week period.

“In keeping with decisions made at a meeting of the Board of Directors earlier this week several objectives were finalized and approved. These included continuing the exercise to drill down and expose those employee actions that interfere with the GGB’s objectives; to insist upon certain minimum operational and ethical standards; and to build stakeholders’ confidence and trust. Such stakeholders include public customers, regulatory agencies, and local and overseas partners. GGB’s board and senior management take the opportunity to reassure miners that their assay accounts have not been compromised,” the GGB statement noted.

According to the statement, “the board and senior management agreed that no effort will be spared to ferret out those parties who through either negligence, or willful ignorance, or gross and unacceptable improprieties (or some combination of these) represent a threat to the enhancement goals and long-term interests of the GGB.  It was emphasized that it must be made clear to everyone that those found to be deficient in principles and the highest standards of probity will be dealt with severely after due process is observed; there can be no exceptions. The board meeting reiterated that, in this manner, the due diligence endeavors will yield the most beneficial and enduring fruits to the GGB, the mining sector, and the Guyanese taxpayer.”

“Finally, it must be mentioned that this internal investigation is an ongoing exercise, which is expected to expand in scope and duration, should circumstances so necessitate.” Mr Lall concluded by stating that all senior officials have been fully briefed and that he expects more developments as the investigation proceeds.

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