$8 billion wharf vested to BK by Winston Jordan with payment of only $20 million – SOCU
Hours after news broke that Former Finance Minister Winston Jordan was arrested by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), the Guyana Police Force released information which details the former government official’s involvement in an $8B fraudulent transaction.
It relates to the sale and vesting of the state’s largest wharf facilities located at Kingston, Georgetown to businessman and owner of BK Inc. Brian Tiwari.
But SOCU said Jordan is also on the radar for a series of alleged fraudulent transactions in which he is implicated, involving public funds and state properties, estimated to value billions of Guyana dollars.
The first matter being addressed relates to the $8 billion (US$40,000,000) property which was sold for “a mere $$110 million” (US$500,000), the police statement noted.
According to the police, the purchaser, BK Marines Limited, paid only 10 per cent of the purchase price – that is $20 million (US$100,000) – and that Jordan issued a vesting order passing Title to the purchaser, without the payment of any further sum of monies.
According to the police report, the vesting order stated that the property is being sold free from encumbrance and liabilities and no further sum of money is owed by the purchaser.
“Transport was subsequently issued for this property and the value strangely stated on the Transport was $400,000,000 million (US$2,000,000.)”
The police noted that this was done although the agreement of sale stated that Title must only pass upon full payment of purchase price.
Investigators reportedly have evidence to establish that a facility, which is a mere fraction of the size of the state property under investigation, located some seven miles upriver, was sold by a private company for US $17 million.
This is only one of several investigations that implicate former Minister Jordan.
State lands at prime areas on the banks of various rivers now have peculiar value to the oil and gas sector.
Jordan, who complained of feeling unwell while being questioned earlier on Thursday at SOCU Headquarters, was placed on his own recognisance and sent away with instructions to return on Friday.
He was first taken to the Sparendaam Health Centre where he was attended to by health workers and subsequently transferred to a private facility in the city.
Meanwhile, also questioned by SOCU on Thursday was Tiwari. The News Room understands that Tiwari was invited to SOCU Headquarters for questioning but while he spent some 30 minutes there he was not made to answer any questions.
“Allegations were put to him but they had all the evidence there,” a source told the News Room.