Van West Charles released on $100k bail over claims he misled Guyana Energy Agency

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Atlantic Fuels Inc. Director Dr Richard Van West Charles was on Monday released on $100,000 bail for allegedly submitting false or misleading information to the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).

Van West Charles, 72, who is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) appeared before Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge which alleged that on November 13, 2020, his company submitted Invoice #100 to the GEA, at 295 Quamina Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown, regarding a shipment of diesel which he claimed to have been purchased from Global Oil NV, knowing the same to be false or misleading.

He was represented by attorneys Siand Dhurjon and Arud Gossai. The Magistrate released the Director on $100,000 bail and adjourned the matter until August 16.

In January, AFI Director Eugene Gilbert was released on $300,000 bail in relation to a charge which claimed that the fuel company made a false declaration to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on a custom invoice.

He denied that on November 12,2020, at GEA, the AFI caused to be made and subscribed a false declaration to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), to wit, invoice # 100 for Customs Declaration reference number GY 410 C, contrary to Section 217 (1) (a) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.

The invoice amounted to over US$200,000, which is equivalent to GYD 40,000,000. His trial has not commenced.

Atlantic Fuel Inc. was granted fuel import, storage and wholesale licenses in November 2015, months after the coalition government went into office.

The AFI had taken the GRA and GEA to court in relation to the seizure of 631,184.9 litres of diesel fuel worth over $80M in resale value which was imported by the fuel company on November 1, 2020.

In February, Chief Justice Roxane George ordered the two agencies to release the fuel and pay the storage cost.  AFI is also before the High Court to challenge the GRA and GEA for revoking its license.

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