Fmr. Finance Minister Jordan on $3M bail over sale of $5B waterfront property to BK
Former Minister of Finance Winston Jordan was on Tuesday released on $3 million bail for the offence of alleged misconduct in public office in relation to the sale of prime waterfront properties in Kingston, Georgetown, which was allegedly sold to BK Marine Inc far below market value.
Jordan, who served as Finance Minister under the previous APNU+AFC government from 2015 to 2020, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Particulars of the charge alleged that Jordan, being and performing duties of Minister of Finance and being the concerned Minister for the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) between February 26 and July 31, 2020, at Main Street, Georgetown, he willfully misconducted himself by acting recklessly when he signed the Transfer of Property Order, No. 50 of 2020.
The court heard that the said order was published in the Official Gazette transferring to and vesting to BK Marine Inc. absolutely, all buildings, erections, stellings, platforms and further appurtenances, that is to say, Mudlots 1 & 2, F of Mudlot 3, A, B & D, situated at North Cummingsburg Georgetown, being over 2.553 acres.
The court further heard that BK paid only $20,260,276 for a property valued over $5 billion – a price that was grossly undervalued.
He was not required to enter a plea and the matter was adjourned until February 10, 2022.
The former Finance Minister was represented by attorneys-at-law Roysdale Force, SC, Joseph Harmon and Darren Wade.
The News Room reported that 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 information released by the police force, 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.
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.