Bond, Heath-London among four slapped with fraud charges
People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) member and attorney-at-law, James Bond and former Chief Executive Officer of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Colvin Heath-London, along with two others, appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan on Thursday, charged with conspiracy to defraud the State.
The others have been identified as the Director of A-Z Pharmaceuticals Medical Supplies and Equipment Inc., Eddie Doolal, and a principal of ARKEN Group Inc., Jermaine Richmond.
Heath-London, Bond and Doolal were charged for the offence which alleged that between August 1, 2017, and November 30, 2020, they conspired with persons known and unknown to defraud NICIL and its sole shareholder, the Government of Guyana of property interest in land.
The land in question is known as Plot A7, A8 and A20 at Plantation Peter’s Hall, East Bank Demerara (EBD), owned by NICIL. It is alleged that they committed the act without the necessary Board and Cabinet approval to do same and for purposes other than that of NICIL.
It is further alleged that Heath-London, Bond and Richmond conspired with persons unknown to defraud the NICIL and the government of lands known as Plot A1, A2, A3 and A4 at Plantation Peter’s Hall, EBD.
Heath-London and Bond were jointly charged for the offence, which alleged that between August 1, 2017, and November 30, 2020, they conspired with persons known and unknown to defraud NICIL and the government of property interest in land at Plot A17, A18 and A19, also in Peter’s Hall.
Heath-London was not in court due to him being out of the jurisdiction. Bond, Doolal and Richmond were not required to plea to the charges. Bond was released on a total of $150,000 bail while Doolal and Richmond were released on $100,000 bail each. The matter is adjourned to April 19, 2021.
The men were represented by attorneys-at-law Satyesh Kissoon, Nigel Hughes and Darren Wade.
Last year, Bond, along with the three other defendants, who were all at the centre of several “deals” were questioned by police and the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
Bond is accused of benefitting from land deals emanating from the sale of State lands, while purportedly looking after the interest of the NICIL which was presiding over the leasing of the lands.
Bond also reportedly received a US$1M payment from Trinidad logistics company, Lennox Petroleum, for the sale of 10 acres of land leased to ARKEN Group Inc.
In that deal, ARKEN and its principal leased from NICIL 20.3 acres of land at Peter’s Hall on May 9, 2018, for a 20-year period at US$16,224 per year.
ARKEN later sold the 10 acres to local logistics company, GLASS Holdings Inc. on October 10, 2019, for $200M.
Instead of the principals of the companies receiving the payment, it was Bond who allegedly received the funds.