Already facing more than 80 charges in the Court for conspiracy to commit a felony, Cuban national Yuri Garcia-Dominguez and his Guyanese wife Ateeka Ishmael are likely to face money laundering charges soon.
The couple has been accused of duping several persons out of millions of dollars through their financial investment company. They have denied the charges.
But with those cases still before the Courts and no trial started as yet, Attorney General Anil Nandlall has announced that money laundering investigations have been activated.
“The investigations are expanding and moving in the direction now of anti money laundering under the AML-CFT structure. That component of the investigative arm of the state has now been activated”, the Attorney General said in a statement.
It was the Attorney General who triggered a multi-agency investigation back in August after he said he received hundreds of complaints about persons investing in the company owned by the couple.
Those persons reportedly complained that they were expecting hefty returns on their financial investment but got nothing in return. The Attorney General has described the entire operation as a “ponzi” scheme. He said the business operated by the couple was never registered to conduct any financial operations in Guyana.
Mr. Nandlall has explained that the main objective of the probe is to get the investors their money back but there has been no luck so far with those efforts.
“All of the information provided by the arrested persons as to where the monies are suppose to be have been fully investigated and have led to no where. The accounts given and the companies that were provided that were suppose to be holding this money in various countries, upon investigations, none of these companies have been found to be existed and none of the accounts have been found”, Nandlall said.
He further explained that the authorities even granted a request by the owner of the financial company for an account to be opened at a bank locally so that the money that was invested by persons could be transferred to the account for reimbursement.
According to the Attorney General, “an account was opened at a Commercial Bank and to date not a cent has been returned to that account. He then said he wanted access to a computer so that he can do certain transactions on that computer that ought to bring back the money. He was provided with that computer yet no money came back”.
Mr. Nandall said even when Yuri Garcia-Dominguez complained about the poor internet quality in the prison, he was taken to an unnamed location with “top class internet” so that he can use the computer system to transfer the money and that too came up blank.
The Attorney General said there have even been checks to see what assets the Cuban national owns in Guyana and those checks have revealed that he does not own any property. Nandlall believes once he man is granted bail who may find a way to leave Guyana.
The Attorney for the Cuban national and his wife has accused the Police and the investigators of frustrating the process with their daily charges against the man and his wife.
Attorney Dexter Todd has said it is now an abuse of the judicial process.