Local agencies were left in the dark of US Treasury Department probe of Mohameds and Mae Thomas

Local agencies were left in the dark of US Treasury Department probe of Mohameds and Mae Thomas

One day after the US Treasury Department released a bombshell report on corruption in Guyana involving one of the wealthiest families and a Permanent Secretary, it has become clear that the US agencies that carried out the probe left the local police and other local agencies in the dark.

The Guyana Government has indicated that the Ministry of Finance and other relevant agencies will be requesting additional information from the US Government in relation to its findings and the corruption claims.

The US Treasury Department in its statement yesterday announced sanctions against the Mohamed family, their businesses and Permanent Secretary, Mae Thomas.

The US Treasury Department noted the involvement of a number of US agencies including Customs and Border Patrol, Diplomatic Services Investigators, the FBI and the DEA. There was no mention of the involvement of any of the Guyanese law enforcement agencies.

News Source understands that those agencies were left in the dark over confidentiality concerns and concerns too about the possible involvement of top officials at some of those agencies in the facilitation of some of the corrupt activities cited.

Just recently at least two very senior Police Officers were questioned by US authorities for several hours on arrival in the US.

The sanctions announced by the US against the Mohameds and Mae Thomas, will affect all assets owned by them in the US, and companies and individuals that continue to do business with them could possibly face sanctions of their own.

There has been no comment from the Mohameds or Permanent Secretary Mae Thomas since the sanctions were announced. Thomas has since been sent on leave by the Guyana Government.

The corruption claims that led to the sanctions, according to the US, included the alleged payment of bribes to government officials for preferential treatment and contracts, the illegal movement of gold, the facilitation of special arrangements for vessels and the issuance of passports and the use of influence to affect the outcome of criminal investigation.

The US claims that the Mohameds through their Mohameds Enterprise company evaded the payment of more than US$50 million in taxes to the Guyanese government while under-declaring their gold exports.

The US report cites the alleged involvement of Customs officials and other Guyanese government officials in the acts of corruption.

According to the report, customs officials were bribed to falsify import and export documents, as well as to facilitate illicit gold shipments. The report said Mohamed’s Enterprise paid bribes to Guyanese government officials to ensure the undisrupted flow of inbound and outbound personnel to move currency and other items on behalf of Azruddin Mohamed and Mohamed’s Enterprise.

The Permanent Secretary, Mae Thomas, was cited for allegedly accepting bribe payments in the form of cash and expensive gifts.

Thomas was arrested and grilled by US Authorities at the Miami International Airport last year, and her phone was seized and probed. Her US visa was also revoked.

At least two other persons who were also linked to the Mohameds and the Permanent Secretary, had their phones probed during their arrival in the US last year, while facing questions about those now sanctioned by the US.

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