The Guyana Gold Board on Friday said that while major financial irregularities have been unearthed within the system, there has been no evidence of gold theft and the purity of gold within its possession has not been affected.
Board Chairman, GHK Lall confirmed that two employees have been sent home following the results of an internal investigation, which unearthed a manipulation of the system, using falsified documents.
The Chairman refused to name the employees or say exactly how much money had been stolen but told reporters that the suspects had worked with the Gold Board for decades and the financial irregularity amounts to millions of dollars.
Lall said even as the investigation continues, the Board can confirm that there has been no shaving of gold and neither has any client’s assay been affected.
He said there remains a transparent system in which the customer is involved at every level but decried the Gold Board’s existing security technology.
“I want to send the reassurance that up to this point in time, despite the irregularities, no miner assays are compromised,” he said.
General Manager (acting) Eondrene Thompson supported the Chairman’s contention that gold shaving has not occurred.
“Miners are able to follow their transaction each step of the way … there is no way that is happening in the system.”
She explained that after inconsistencies were discovered with one client’s documents, the Board took the decision to comb the system dating back to January 1st, 2017 and it was during this exercise that the discovery was made.
She said the financial irregularities amounts to the falsification of documents.
The signature for the two employees were said to be on all the false documents prompting the decision to remove them from the organization as the investigation continue.
Thompson said the false documents were shown to the employees and they admitted it was their signatures.
The Board is considering a move to turn the matter over to the Police, but a decision is yet to be taken in that regard.
Commenting on the Board’s system to detect instances of corrupt practices, Lall said more robust policies are being instituted, placing the Board in a state of heightened alert.
This is being done “because of the commodity we handle and the temptation that can arise,” he said.
The Chairman said staff members in the accounts department are aware of the limitation of the system and the Board is looking at ways to have a better system in place but until that time, stave off abuses of the current system.