Former Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, Trevor Benn was called in again today by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police Force concerning several transactions he undertook as Head of the Lands and Surveys Commission.
Last Friday, Benn was charged for misconduct in public office over the sale of land for the Lands Commission. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Speaking outside the Criminal Investigation Department today, Mr. Benn said he was questioned in relation to the lease of a plot of land on Mandela Avenue amounting to $100 million and the sale of land on Aubrey Barker Road.
He questioned the motives behind the new allegations and said since the Police had the information, they could have put the allegations to him while he was detained last week. He said his latest detention makes it clear that he is being harassed.
“What is happening here is a creeping dictatorship in Guyana, this is total harassment. I have done nothing wrong; I want to maintain that.” Mr. Benn said.
Mr. Benn recalled that when he was arrested from his home last week, he was placed in the Police lockups with common criminals and held there for three days although the allegations against him are bailable.
“I spent almost 72 hours in the lockup with common criminals of every kind. My first cell was one filled with feces running over and water all over the floor, so this was intended to inflict maximum pain on me, but I am a Benn and these things don’t break us.”
Mr. Benn said initially last Tuesday he was read a charge of receiving monies by false pretense. That stemmed from a plot of land which the Commission leased to JANICO Engineering for $27M, that plot has been a bone of contention since it was claimed both by NICIL and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission. Benn said they were forced to change the charge after they must have realized that all monies were paid to the Lands Commission and not him.
“Anybody who knows me knows that you cannot corrupt me, I am incorruptible and every cent during my stay at Lands and Surveys that was for the Lands and Surveys was received by the Lands and Surveys. So, I cannot understand how I was held for misconduct in public office for receiving money on behalf of the state,” Mr. Benn questioned.
The Government has come under fire for what the Opposition sees as its targeting of Afro-Guyanese professionals who served under the APNU+AFC administration.