With possible money laundering charges facing him, the Government of Guyana has cut ties with Omar Shariff, who served as the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Presidency.
Shariff was sent on administrative leave since June, 2016 but received a dismissal letter late December, bringing his tenure to an end.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of the Presidency today, it was noted that the termination took effect on December 31, 2016. Ms. Abena Moore has now been appointed the substantive Permanent Secretary at the Ministry.
The announcement came just one day after Shariff appeared in court to answer a charge of failing to comply with the production order, contrary to Section 26 of the Anti-Money Laundering act. The reading of the charge was put on hold after the Prosecution and Defence teams agreed to seek clarification on a related High Court matter.
The charge had been recommended by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. However, a check at the DPP’s office this afternoon revealed that the file is to be sent back for additional information before the charge against him could go forward.
News Source understands that the Special Organised Crime Unit, which has been probing Shariff’s alleged involvement in money laundering, had moved to the High Court in an effort to get Shariff to provide specific information and documents that would have aided their probe.
Reports suggest that he may have been unwilling to provide information and documents to the investigators as part of their probe on him.
Mr. Shariff, who was a candidate for the People’s Progressive Party at the last elections, remained as Permanent Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat even after a new government took office.