Police investigators have completed their probe into the alleged fraudulent transfer of government vehicles to former Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford, her spouse Gary Beaton and two other private citizens.
Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum told News Source today that the police had completed its work and the file has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shamliar Ali_Hack for her advice on likely charges.
The advice from the DPP is likely to be known early in the new week. The police file contains several statements taken from each of the individuals whose names are mentioned in the alleged scam.
Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said he hopes charges will be brought against those who have been fingered in the fraud.
“It is my personal opinion from the anecdotal evidence and also what I’ve seen in the press. I have my views and suspect that they should be charged,” Ramjattan said.
He said he does not intend to interfere in the process but hopes that the police have carried out a thorough investigation.
On Tuesday, the Guyana Police Force confirmed that all of the vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Public Service and which were in the possession of private individuals have been returned.
Westford was instrumental in the handing over of the vehicles although she did not do so herself, News Source was told. She however was questioned by the police about the matter.
Her move to ensure the vehicles were returned to the government came just one day after the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party said that he had met with her on the issue after learning of it through press reports and had advised her to take a “certain course of action”.
The alleged scam came to light last week after the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry informed the government that there was an attempt to transfer the government vehicles to the former Minister, her spouse and two other people.
A driver who is attached to the Public Service Ministry and whose name was listed as one of those seeking a transfer has since distanced himself from the alleged fraud and said he was not even aware that there was a move to have the vehicle transferred to his name. He said he never bought any vehicle from the Ministry and never asked for the transfer of any government vehicle to his name.
The Permanent Secretary, Hydar Ally was contacted by the Guyana Revenue Authority after the GRA found the request to be an unusual one. The request according to documents, was made by the Personnel Officer of the Ministry unknowing to the Permanent Secretary. The Personnel Officer signed the transfer request on behalf of Ally.
Additionally, the GRA had also raised concern about the receipts that were provided showing that the vehicles were sold and needed to be transferred. The receipts had no official stamp of the Ministry and appeared as regular cash receipts. Again, the signature of the Personnel Officer was attached to the receipts.
The Government of Guyana has stated that a number of other vehicles remain missing.