The Guyana Police Force is working to complete its investigation into a suspected massive fraud at the former Ministry of Public Service under the PPP Civic administration.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told News Source today that the investigators are working to complete the probe by this weekend and forward the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.
He said based on documents now in the possession of the Guyana Police Force, over $600 Million cannot be accounted for at the former Ministry of Public Service.
News Source understands that the fraud was discovered recently just after the new government took office and started to go through the Ministry’s accounts. It was found that $127 Million which was transferred from the Office of the President earlier this year to the Ministry, could not be accounted for after it was withdrawn from the Ministry’s accounts.
The money was reportedly withdrawn in the run up to the May 11, 2015 elections and based on documents provided, it was withdrawn in three tranches over a three-month period.
Investigators decided to start checking all of the accounts of a similar nature and it was then that it was found that over $600 Million was missing. The money had been transferred to the Public Service Ministry for Regional projects. However, the projects were never carried out although the money was withdrawn.
Former Minister of Public Service under the PPP, Jennifer Westford and her former Personnel Officer, Margaret Cummings have both been questioned in connection with the alleged fraud. News Source understands that Cummings may have been the person whose signature is attached to all of the withdrawal documents for the accounts.
The two women are already before the court in connection with the alleged attempt to transfer eight government vehicles to private individuals including the former Minister.
Minister of State, Joe Harmon today told the media that the Ministry of the Presidency has allowed police investigators access to the Ministry as they continue their probe. He made it clear that the alleged fraud took place during the time of the last PPP Civic government.