Moments after the arrest of former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, Opposition Leader and Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo was escorted to the headquarters of the Special Organised Crime Unit of the Guyana Police Force as the probe continues into the Pradoville 2 land acquisition scandal.
Also being held for questioning at the SOCU headquarters were former Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud, and the daughter of former President Donald Ramotar, Lisa Ramotar.
Mr. Jagdeo was visited by Senior SOCU officials and accompanied to the unit’s headquarters less than 30 minutes after he held a press conference accusing the unit of witch hunting and performing political mischief on behalf of the government.
He said today is a day that will long be remembered, especially because of the arrest of Dr. Luncheon. From all appearances, Mr. Jagdeo and his colleagues were surprised by the SOCU move to effect an official arrest of Dr. Roger Luncheon at the Leader of the Opposition’s Church Street office.
Under the lens of the media, Dr. Luncheon was told that he was being arrested as part of the prove into the misappropriation of state resources and conspiracy. It is believed that the others are facing the similar accusation.
On Monday, SOCU reportedly received a letter from former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, indicating that the former cabinet members do not intend to show up at the SOCU Headquarters to face questioning and would instead prefer another venue.
SOCU had requested the interviews as part of its probe into the Pradoville 2 land acquisition scandal.
A number of members of the former government, including former President Bharrat Jagdeo, have sprawling properties in the area that was developed exclusively for them.
A few other persons who were also offered land in the area and took the offer up, are also to be questioned by SOCU.
A forensic audit into the land deal, found that the recipients underpaid for the sea side lands by more than $250 million. Additionally, millions more in state resources were used to develop the land for private use.
Persons who acquired housing plots in the area include former President Bharrat Jagdeo, former Ministers Priya Manickhand, Clement Rohee, Robert Persaud, Dr. Nanda Gopaul, Shaik Baksh and Jennifer Westford.
Others, include Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack; former Head of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Ramesh Dookoo; former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon; former Labour Minister and Lisaveta Valantina Ramotar, who is the daughter of the former President, Donald Ramotar.
Former GDF Chief of Staff, retired Commodore Gary Best also acquired land in the same scheme.