Former Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix has broken his silence on the granting of citizenship to one of the suspects in the alleged ponzi scheme that is now part of a major multi agency probe.
Mr. Felix in a statement today, said the Attorney General Anil Nandlall is guilty of spreading misinformation with his recent statements attributed to the Department of Citizenship and Felix’s tenure there in relation to the suspect.
Mr. Felix said contrary to what has been said in the media, the Guyana Securities Council never informed him about any investigation of the Cuban national who is a suspect in the matter.
Felix said what he did receive was an anonymous tip in an undated and unsigned letter about Cuban nationals who were married to Guyanese being involved in an alleged illegal finance trading scheme and were seeking nationalisation.
Felix said that was on the 28th August 2019.
He said on the 4th September 2019, he forwarded the information and the unsigned letter that was received as an anonymous tip to the Commissioner of Police seeking an investigation and for appropriate action to be taken.
The former Minister who once served as Police Commissioner and Crime Chief of Guyana said he instructed his staff that the application by the suspect and any other person associated with him be put on pause until such time that the police investigation was completed. He said his instructions were followed.
Felix said the suspect had married a Guyanese and according to the provisions of the Constitution of Guyana, sought Guyanese Citizenship through Naturalisation, but the application was put under investigation.
Mr. Felix said although the man’s application for citizenship was published in the newspapers, the Guyana Securities Council never informed him of any probe against the man and no one else ever come forward with any claims against the man.
According to the former Citizenship Minister, it wasn’t until April of this year, 7 months after he requested an investigation, that the Commissioner of Police informed him that following advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions, the investigation against the ponzi scheme suspects was closed.
He said with the investigation closed following advice from the DPP, there was no other circumstance that was restraining the Department of Citizenship from moving ahead with the man’s application for naturalization.
Felix said it is unfortunate that except for an anonymous letter none of the seventeen thousand Guyanese (17,000) persons allegedly affected by the ‘Ponzi’ scheme responded to the notice published in the daily newspapers about the man seeking citizenship through naturalization.
He said it appears as though the investigators were deprived of essential information necessary to build a strong case against the alleged perpetrators.
The Attorney General Anil Nandlall last week announced a multi agency investigation into the alleged ponzi scheme.
Several persons have since come forward claiming that they were duped of millions of dollars after they invested in the financial trading scheme, believing that they would be receiving up to three times the amount of their investment.
In a press conference over the weekend, the Attorney General said the investigation will be far and wide as they try to get to the bottom of the alleged ponzi scheme.
Mr. Nandlall said it is being hoped that they will be able to get back the money for those who invested. The two main suspects in the scheme were arrested last week. Charges are still to be filed against them.