Friday, March 23, 2012

Investigators believe multi-million dollar scheme was being hatched at now defunct Guyana Cricket Board.

Ongoing investigations into alleged financial improprieties by the now dissolved Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) have led investigators to believe that a multi-million dollar scheme was being hatched, according to a senior officer in the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

The officer, who wished to remain anonymous, also revealed that the GPF’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has widened the investigation’s scope since a number of irregularities have been discovered. Further, the investigation is expected to be completed by next month end.

“From what the investigators discovered during the ongoing investigation, it is leading to a multi-million dollar fraud at the cricket board office. The investigators found a number of things which could lead to the fraud. What I am aware is that the police have increased the investigation process and is expected to complete same by next month end” the source revealed.

On the other hand, while the source did not state what exactly was recovered during the investigation, it was hinted that some illicit documents were found. According to the source, it has not been established whether all the officials’ houses and offices were searched, save for the former president Ramsey Ali and a few other officials.

That said, the source pointed out that should the initial findings unearth concrete evidence of fraudulent practices by the former executive then they will face the full extent of the law.

Crime Chief, Seelall Persaud recently told media operatives that police had recovered several items, but would not detail what items were seized. Persaud had said then that the allegations being investigated deal with misappropriation of funds; hence sleuths were more concerned with documentation.

The GPF launched an investigation into the financial affairs of the GCB early last month in an effort to retrieve “important documents”, after Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee had written to the acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell requesting that the police force conduct an immediate investigation into the affairs of the GCB.

Over the past two years, allegations of financial improprieties, unaccountability and, other matters, including improperly acquired visas, were levelled against the GCB.

This led to Ramsey Ali relinquishing his position as President of the GCB seven months after claims of illegal elections. Ali had disclosed recently to this publication that his resignation was due to the police raids that were conducted at his home and his office and also the pressure he received from his employer. Subsequently, the other nine executives of the embattled board followed suit.

The former executives Fizul Bacchus, Alfred Mentore, Anand Sanasie, Dru Bahadur, Anand Kalladeen, Colin Europe, Rayon Griffith, Nazimul Drepaul and Terry Holder submitted their resignations to Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony on March 5.

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