Guyana Corruption: Six cases for Court on Stolen Government Assets – By Freddie Kissoon

Six cases for court on stolen assets from the nation’s resources

 Mar 14, 2018  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon 

In the entire world, except Guyana, the exposure of corrupt politicians who were in office or are in office brings extensive disgust from the citizenry. Humans feel that they work hard, do not get the pay they deserve from their government but the politicians they voted for end up with luxurious mansions and enormous bank books. Even sexual misconduct does not bring out the anger in citizens as corruption does.     

Financial skullduggery in the PPP Government began as soon as Cheddi Jagan took office. Jagan and his wife were inflexibly doctrinaire and shamelessly undemocratic in how they ran the PPP and the PPP administration but they were not venal politicians. They refused to countenance financial depravity among PPP leaders.

But they simply could not do anything about it because the fulcrums and the foundations of PPP rule rested upon cadres who couldn’t be moved even though Cheddi and Janet Jagan knew they were corrupt.

Just one example such suffice – Pradoville One. There was a house in Pradoville One financed by kickbacks from the OMAI gold company. Both husband and wife were corrupt and when Mrs. Jagan entered the home, she was so shocked at the opulence she announced that she would never return. She never did.

The presidencies of Jagan and wife were burdened by gargantuan corruption.
It was Jagdeo who on assumption to power, knew he couldn’t stop it, joined the bandwagon and used it to cement his hegemony in the PPP. Jagdeo saw as both finance minister and president how corrupt were PPP leaders and he saw in their venality his weapon of control.

He actually encouraged corrupt patronage so he could buy support and he literally bought out the entire PPP leadership. What was frightening about the rapacity of the PPP administration 1999 -2015 was its encompassing tentacles. Families, members and relatives were involved in enormous skullduggery. AT GWI and other state entities, rather than charge their supporters for massive theft, the PPP simply allowed them to leave.

When the identities of people that SARA will place before the courts for restitution are made public, the nation certainly should not be nonplussed. These persons are known to have accumulated vast wealth.

One of the beneficiaries of PPP corruptibility has more than 120 properties in Georgetown alone. For the third time in these columns, I am repeating a repugnant example of how PPP cabals stole the wealth of this nation. Here it is.

A prime piece of real estate on which once stood a Ministry under President Burnham was in a terrible state. Overgrown bushes had devoured the lot. One of Mr. Jagdeo’s intimate pals thought it was still state owned land. In fact, it was privatised by the Hoyte presidency.  Jagdeo’s super-rich friend sent his workers to clear, clean and fence the land. The private, legal owner turned up and asked the labourers what they were doing on his property. They duly informed him who sent them. That was the end of the matter.

Now just imagine how many instances you had of such a situation where this gentleman took prime real estate that was state lands and state buildings and simply used his Jagdeo connection to claim state assets. SARA has a waterproof case against this fellow. The SARA court cases have come three years after the APNU+AFC coalition took power and it had to be protracted because tracing stolen assets from the state is an agonizingly long process.

When you steal state money and bank it under the aunt’s name of your wife’s cousin, it will be traced by forensic financial investigators but it takes time. There is the infamous case where a PPP official made billions and said he earned it from selling phone cards. I knew a neighbourhood shop that sold more cards than him and the owner still cannot buy an expensive car.

Many layers of international investigators are involved. SARA originally had advisors from the UN.

PPP leaders have perambulated the territory of Guyana speaking on behalf of sugar workers and low income classes but if only these poor souls know the stolen resources these people possess then sugar workers should demand they help them. It will be interesting to see the reaction of these very strata of the Guyanese society when these cases hit the news.

A former minister is willing to pay market value for his Pradoville 2 house lot. Where did he get that kind of cash from? Another Pradoville 2 beneficiary sold her house for one million American dollars; yes, one million. Under the law, you cannot sell a house lot from the state until after ten years of purchase. Some persons are trembling.

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  • Janet  On March 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    ex PNC politicians are claiming property under adverse possession from bonafide owners.because they have friends in the present administration. They have also sold private properties they dont own to their friends.

  • Mark  On March 14, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    “Another Pradoville 2 beneficiary sold her house for one million American dollars; yes, one million.”

    You can obtain beachfront houses in Malibu Beach, Orlando and Miami for almost the same price if it’s not owned by a celebrity.

    The last time I checked, the average salary in Guyana for a CXC graduate in high school was G$50,000 or US$250 monthly.

    • Ali...  On March 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      I can’t believe a house in Guyana is worth $1million US. Soon, foreigners will buy up beach front property all over de country, build tall fences and have mean guard dogs patrolling inside.

      • Mark  On March 15, 2018 at 12:52 am

        The foreign takeover is what also happened to Haiti. Local Haitians eat dirt cookies while the affluent Americans, Canadians and racist Eurotrash live in villas that are as large as a parking lot at WalMart.

      • Mark  On March 15, 2018 at 1:11 am

        In Canada, it was foreigners buying out residential houses for at least C$500,000+ which caused locals to DEMAND A FOREIGN BUYERS TAX, because even in Canada with its inflated average salary (C$55,000), it’s considered unfair for locals to pay over 5 times their annual wage for a house, even in the City of Toronto or Vancouver.
        When will Guyanese wake up to see that the oil discoveries are only going to benefit the white foreigners?
        I can see a future in 2022 where foreigners will create a demand to construct luxurious 15 to 35 storey penthouses at the seawall, but the clerk doing the paperwork is only getting paid less than US$400 a month under poor working conditions.
        It may sound hyperbole, but right now Pegasus is planning to construct a 15 storey high luxury hotel tower in GT, but the contractor is from China!

  • Mark  On March 15, 2018 at 1:39 am

    The Government of Guyana should consider a Foreign Buyers Tax on foreigners who have no ties to Guyana or ancestry to Guyana. This tax should also apply to foreigners from China and India who will lie about their “historical links to colonial Guyana”. The GoG should also report any assets of these foreigners under the relevant tax treaties such as FATCA to prevent foreigners from misusuing Guyana’s jurisdictional location as a means to evade taxes or engage in organized financial crimes.
    It is already an insult to Guyanese that Exxon-Mobil is free to import anything they want tax free while if a working mother wants to purchase baby formula for her infants, she will have to pay VAT.
    Will Exxon-Mobil abuse their tax free concessions to import Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and US$100,000 Hermes handbags under their exemptions? Let’s hope not.

  • dhanpaul narine  On March 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Mark and others,
    You have made some excellent points. Here is the thing: After 2020, everyone will want to be a Guyanese or will claim some right to citizenship. The Government has to protect the patrimony. How does it do so? It has to be selective as to how citizenship is granted. In Dubai, foreigners have to wait for about 13 years before they become citizens. Guyana should have a similar policy and criteria, including good behavior and accountability etc. should be met.
    Only the other day the Minister allowed illegals in Guyana to regularize their position. We must be kind but we must also have standards.

    • Mark  On March 17, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      Too late for that. The Government of Guyana has already signaled their intentions to use former cane field lands for “expatriates”, about 200,000, to live in Guyana.
      I find that suspicious that the closure of many sugar estates is co-incidental to those lands being now apportioned for foreigners. In other words, thousands of local Guyanese who work in the sugar industry were laid off their jobs so that 200,000 expatriates will live in Guyana on the lands of cane fields at the expense of local Guyanese!

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