A man who has been named in the vehicle transfer scandal, involving former Government Minister Jennifer Westford has come forward to clear his name.
The driver, Delroy Lewis made it clear that he has no knowledge about the transactions to fraudulently transfer several government vehicles at the Public Service Minister to himself, Westford or her spouse.
Lewis is a Driver who is currently attached to the Public Service Department of the Ministry of the Presidency. His name appeared on a receipt as having bought one of the Ministry’s vehicles. That receipt was submitted with transfer documents to the GRA by the Personnel Officer Margaret Cummings.
“I was as shocked as anybody else. My mom called me and I told her I have no idea. I am not involved in any fraud against the government,” Lewis said.
Interestingly the vehicle (PFF 1780) which was being transferred to Lewis was the exact vehicle he utilized at the Ministry. He now claims that he was sent on leave during the time the transaction was initiated. “They said the P.S said they don’t have anything for me to do at this time so I should go on leave.”
He said at no time did the issue of buying a vehicle from the Ministry arise between himself and the Chief Personnel Officer Margaret Cummings or any other official. He wants his name cleared and claims he is in the process of purchasing a vehicle which will arrive in Guyana sometime this week.
The man he has been working with the Public Service Ministry as a driver since 2011 and never made any plans to purchase any vehicle from the Ministry. He is convinced his name was used as part of the scam to cover up the real culprits.
The former Minister of Public Service Jennifer Westford and her spouse, GDF Coast Guard Head, Gary Beaton were named in documents as two of the other persons who were going to receive government vehicles that were about to be transferred from the Ministry of Public Service.
Two senior officers including the Personnel Officer of the Ministry have since been sent on leave and the police has been called in to deal with the issue.
Just after the May 11 elections, the Guyana Revenue Authority received a request from Cummings for the transfer of eight vehicles from the ministry to private citizens including the Minister and her spouse. Cummings signed that request on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Hydar Ally.
However, when Ally was contacted by the GRA over the transaction, he said he knew nothing of any sale or any transfer and the GRA should stop the attempt.
The Permanent Secretary then informed the new government of the development.
Yesterday, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee announced that the party had called in the former Minister in relation to the matter.
Mr. Rohee would only say that he met with Ms. Westford and she was advised “on a certain course of action” with regard to the issue.
When asked whether a request was made for her to take back any government vehicles she currently has in her possession, Rohee again said he advised her on a certain course of action.
There are reports that two of the vehicles have since been returned to the Ministry. But the new $9 Million Kia Sorento that was bought by the Ministry for use by the Minister is still to be located.