‘Apologise by Monday or face the court on Tuesday’ – Beepat to Mayor Narine
One day after the High Court ruled that the Giftland Mall was not indebted in taxes to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, the mall’s proprietor, Roy Beepat, is insisting that Mayor Ubraj Narine apologise.
During a press briefing at the mall’s Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara location on Friday, Beepat said he wants the Mayor to personally visit the mall on or before 14:00h on Monday, February 22, 2021, and offer an apology.
Beepat said he does not want the apology published on social media or in the local press; he wants the apology to be done in person.
Failure on the part of Narine to do this will see Beepat filing a suit against him on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
Beepat, who noted that he remains interested in working with the council, said he will sue the Mayor in his personal capacity for $200 million if the apology is not done in person.
“So, Mayor you better get yourself here by 2 o’clock because we are serious. Your damage has been done… If he is not willing to say sorry and not willing to apologise, then we will take you to court… I take great affront to him personally attacking me and my company… Come and make amends,” the businessman said.
After repeatedly insisting that it was owed well over $100 million in taxes by Giftland Mall and dragged before the court, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) had an order requesting payment from the mall quashed by Chief Justice, Roxane George.
When contacted on Friday, Narine told the News Room that he will not offer any apology to Beepat, insisting that although the order was quashed, the Giftland Mall was still indebted to the city.
Narine said the CJ’s final ruling will not be until March 1, 2021. He said also that the order for payment was quashed because of a failure on the part of the Chief Evaluator to do his work.
The Mayor said that once that evaluation is done and backdated, Giftland Mall will still be indebted to the city.
“I will not apologise to Mr Roy Beepat because the Chief Justice didn’t make a ruling, the ruling will be on March 1, 2021, and when I listen to his case, this time will be in the benefit of the Mayor and City Council because he has to do a re-evaluation and I’m grateful for it,” the Georgetown Mayor said.
In a statement, Giftland Mall said despite the attacks on its reputation and being a responsible corporate entity, it will offer an olive branch to the M&CC to find a way to work together recognising that the country cannot run without taxes.
Beepat maintained this on Friday but says he felt “terribly wronged” by the Mayor’s public utterances.
“We have no interest in suing the City for one man’s foolishness.”
“Giftland was singled out and the company suffered losses, damage to reputation and we looked like tax cheats,” he added.
Beepat also argued that the damage to the company is worth more than the $200M.
The suit will be for damage to character and reputation, Beepat said.