The Guyana Police Force is currently investigating a case where cheques worth millions of dollars were fraudulently made out in the name of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
According to police sources, the cheques – amounting to over $9 million – were cashed at one commercial bank, but it is possible that cheques were cashed at other banks. Those arrested in the case have yet to say which other banks cheques were cashed at.
The police are investigating possible collusion between persons within the GRA, bank employees and others. But the GRA, which initiated the investigation, has denied it was the source of the fraud.
When contacted on Thursday, Commissioner-General of the GRA, Godfrey Statia, first clarified that there was no fraud at the revenue authority. “The fraud is not on GRA’s end.”
He said GRA has all of the original cheques in its possession.
“What has happened is that forgers have been en-cashing cheques at certain banks that have been purportedly issued by the GRA,” the Commissioner-General said.
Statia clarified that all cheques issued by the GRA are stamped “not negotiable”. He has dissociated the GRA.
“This means that the cheques in question were cashed by the banks which shows some level of collusion between forgers and bank employees.
“GRA’s Cheques are issued by the Bank of Guyana and we have the said numbered cheques still in our possession,” the Commissioner-General told the News Room.
The News Room understands that a man and two women are currently in custody at the Brickdam Police Station.
Of course it is collusion with bank staff. I have an account and I cannot cash a cheque easily and certainly not without putting up my eldest child as security. How these persons think they are not getting caught is beyond me.