Over $10M ‘missing’; Labour Ministry takes control of credit union

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By Isanella Patoir

The Ministry of Labour, under the leadership of the Chief Co-ops Officer, Perlina Griffith, will be taking control of the Amalgamated Transport & General Workers Cooperative Credit Union after an ongoing audit has so far discovered over $10 million in cash unaccounted for.

The Ministry has also contacted the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to assist with the investigation.  Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, during a press conference on Friday in Georgetown, noted that an interim management committee will soon be named to manage the affairs of the credit union.

“Presently there is an audit of the books of the union and monies that they cannot account for to the tune of $8.4 million,” the Minister said.

Another $4.9 million was being held at the union’s Urquhart Street, Georgetown location is also unaccounted for.

“Then we had an alarming situation also, where a senior officer was attempting to cash two cheques to the tune of $3.6 million; I suspect payable to herself,” Minister Hamilton stated.

Meanwhile, it was noted that the 2019 audit of the Guyana Public Service (GPSU) Cooperative Credit Union was completed successfully and members were paid dividends.

The Ministry took control of this union in 2018 after it found that the affairs were not being handled with integrity, transparency and professionalism.

Minister Hamilton on Friday announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the interim management committee, which was appointed then, was given an extension of four months beginning December 01, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

Additionally, in March 2021, the over 22, 000 members of the GPSU credit union will finally be able to vote and elect a management committee to represent their interests.

“The administration of the department wishes to advise all members of the credit union to be involved in the process to elect a committee of management and a supervisory committee that will manage the society in the interest of all the members and according to the laws and by laws of the society,” the Minister said.

Measures will be put in place to ensure all members vote through a transparent process and anyone who seeks to hinder the process will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, Hamilton noted.

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