Former President Donald Ramotar has declared that the coalition government is lying when it comes to issue surrouning US$5 Million that was owed to the Government of Guyana as the remaining payment for the Government shares in GT&T that were sold to a Chinese government.
The Government yesterday announced that based on a probe, documents have revealed that the money was paid over to Guyana under the last PPP Civic government but there is no trace of the money.
Former President Ramotar fired back today and said it the timing of the announcement by the government is very suspicious. “The claim by the APNU/AFC Gov’t that the money was received is a lie and I challenge the Government to present the “documents” it has received (under suspicious and questionable circumstances) so that the veracity of the evidence can be tested and authenticated”, he challenged.
Mr. Ramotar said under his presidency, the 20% GT&T share sale transaction was executed between NICIL and Hong Kong Golden Telecom Limited for the total price of US$30m.
He added that it was never hidden that US$25 Million was received and that the purchaser was given two years to pay the balance of US$5m.
“It was also publicly disclosed by NICIL that efforts were being made to pursue legal recourse in the UK to collect the outstanding balance (refer to Stabroek News December 18, 2015). The PPP/C administration never had any reason to doubt the word of NICIL’s competent technical staff when they said that the amounts were outstanding and every effort was being made to pursue”, Ramotar said.
According to the former President, any claim that amounts were paid, would not be hard to prove and the only entity that was and is authorized to receive any monies from the purchaser for this transaction was NICIL.
“One would assume that had NICIL received this money then there would be a receipt or some form of banking documentation to show its payments. Any claim that some other entity or person received this money would also be easy to prove or disprove”, he added.
News Source understands that NICIL has no records of ever receiving the US$5 Million while other documents have indicated that the money was paid over.
However, Mr. Ramotar said the Government’s insinuation that the money was paid to someone else or some other entity other than NICIL prior to the May 2015 elections is a distraction from the real issues.
“It’s belligerent claims of massive corruption under the PPP/C administration have yet to be proven by this government. This latest claim is an expected APNU/AFC political ploy to appeal to peoples’ emotions rather than seeking the truth”.
Ramotar said he is convinced that the claim by the Government is designed to “digress from answering the people’s demands for explanations on who really paid for the trip to China, the naming of the ‘honorific’ advisors and party contributors, and demands for decisive actions against the increase in crime in our country.”
Minister of State, Joe Harmon, went to China along with a NICIL official to meet the Chinese company that bought the GTT shares from the last government. Several documents that were provided have reportedly indicated that the money was paid over to Guyana.