Eight Directors of the Guyana Bank For Trade Industry Limited were released on self bail today after they were all charged with failing to comply with an order of the High Court, in relation to providing information about the movement of US$500 million in the account of the Guyana Rice Development Board.
Those charged were Chairman, Robin Stoby and Directors, Edward A. Beharry, Suresh Beharry, Kathryn Eytle-McLean, Richard Isava, Carlton James, Basil Mahadeo and Chief Executive Officer (ag) Shaleeza Shaw.
They all appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ann Mclennan and denied the allegation which stated that on the 7th September, they failed to comply with a Court order made by the Chief Justice.
Attorney Nigel Hughes who represented the eight accused, told the Court, that the move to the Court was nothing more than an abuse of prosecutorial power.
He stated that his clients were following the Court order and were last Friday granted an extension by the Chief Justice to turn over all the relevant information to the Special Organised Crime Unit.
Additionally, Mr. Hughes stated that the order was handed over to SOCU recently, but the unit chose to not acknowledge it.
He said the Court order by the Chief Justice was directed to the bank and not necessarily its Directors.
However, SOCU Prosecutor, Patrice Henry argued that the Directors of the bank have not been fully compliant with the order of the Court. He said several documents that were listed in the Court order were not handed over.
SOCU recently launched an investigation into tracking down over US$500M that the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) handled as far back as 2010.
During the investigation, GBTI and SOCU battled over information concerning the GRDB accounts.
Since then GBTI has handed over 9,000 files but had 150 more to deliver. Last Friday, the bank sought and was granted an extension by the Court to turn over all documents.
SOCU believes the documents could possibly point to major fraud taking place at the GRDB under the previous government.