CID to question Cevons Boss over Mandela land deal
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cevons Waste Management Inc. Morse Archer has been asked to report to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Eve Leary just after noon on Thursday for questioning as the police continue its investigation into the sale of a piece of land back in 2018.
It comes one day after former Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission Trevor Benn was grilled on the land deal and weeks after the government indicated that it was reviewing the sale of a plot of land to the company.
Benn is currently before the Court for his involvement in another alleged illegal land deal at Ogle, East Coast Demerara and is being investigated for several others including the land sold to Archer and his company.
Archer was informed by a letter from Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, in February that the government was looking to repossess the land as it was illegally sold to him by Benn.
Nandlall later said that the sale was being reviewed on a direct appeal by Archer to President Irfaan Ali but noted that the transaction remains highly illegal.
Nandlall had said then even if the government decides to act in Archer’s favour and allow the transaction to be regularized, it does not make the wrongdoing right.
The AG insisted that the land was not owned by the GL&SC and as a consequence, the Commission had no authority to lease or even sell the land without the permission of the rightful owners, the National Sports Commission (NSC).
Archer had previously said that his company followed all guidelines and legal procedures in the purchase of a plot of land that the government is now seeking to repossess.
Archer is hoping for a resolution void of any legal showdown. He claimed the land was purchased from the GL&SC in 2018 for $100M of which $80M has already been paid.
The CEO said as per the written agreement with GL&SC, he was told that the transport for the land will take three years to be transferred and once that is done, the remaining $20M would be paid. In the interim, Archer explained, that he was granted a 50-year lease by the GL&SC which he is currently paying on simultaneously.
The CEO said he also received a government evaluation for the land, putting the value at $47M. He said despite this when he approached the Commission, he was told he has to pay $100M.
Calls to Archer’s phone on Thursday went unanswered.