Opposition says Government cannot distance itself from corruption claims against Mohameds and PS Thomas

Opposition says Government cannot distance itself from corruption claims against Mohameds and PS Thomas

The APNU+AFC Opposition today said the US sanctions against Permanent Secretary Mae Thomas and PPP Local Government Representative, Nazar Mohamed and his son, directly link the Government to high-level corruption, that possibly includes high ranking officials of the current administration.

At the Opposition’s weekly press conference, Economic Advisor to the Opposition Leader, Elson Lowe, said the move by the US to sanction Thomas and the Mohameds for corruption and gold smuggling has exposed the administration for its alleged involvement in corrupt acts.

The Opposition said the Government cannot distance itself from the three persons sanctioned by the US authorities.

The Opposition reminded that the same Government that is now seeking additional information from the US on the corruption claims, sought to protect Permanent Secretary Thomas when she was detained and grilled by US authorities in 2023 and had her phone seized and visa revoked.

“She should have been sent on leave since then, in order to carry out a thorough investigation, but the PPP encourages corruption. So, these serious indications of potential wrongdoing are always swept under the carpet. We are aware that she is but the first of a long list of senior PPP officials who are likely to face sanctions as the US policy of investigating corruption in Guyana continues,” Lowe said.

While accusing the Government of putting the country’s economy at risk due to possible sanctions, Lowe said the Government must do all in its powers to protect the country’s financial system. 

“We want to urge that the government take these sanctions seriously and act within the confines of the law to root out such corruption involving other party members that may have been involved in corruption, smuggling or any other illegal activities. We also urge the government to carry out a risk assessment, so that it can advise Guyana’s financial institutions on an orderly way to approach these sanctions,” he said. 

He said the Government must not turn its face from a threat to the entire local financial system, urging further, that it carefully navigates this crisis without provoking further sanctions on any of the coutnry’s financial institutions.

On Thursday, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said the Government has instructed the Bank of Guyana and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to compile a report on the implications of the sanctions on Guyana’s financial system. He said the Government will take the necessary steps to safeguard the country’s financial system. 

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