The Guyana Police Force has 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 as the investigations into the fraud case widens.
A senior police official confirmed to News Source that all of the vehicles that are at the centre of the probe were returned over the past two days. Former Minister of Public Service and People’s Progressive Party member, Jennifer Westford was instrumental in the handing over of the vehicles although she did not do so herself, News Source was told.
Her move to ensure the vehicles were returned to the government came just one day after the General Secretary of the PPP 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.
The Permanent Secretary, Hydar Ally had been contacted by the Guyana Revenue Authority as it found the request unusual. 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 Permanent Secretary wrote to the former Minister last week inquiring about the whereabouts of the vehicles including a new Kia Sorento that was missing but was not among those listed for transfer.
Yesterday, a young driver attached to the Public Service Ministry came forward to clear his name after he was listed as one of the persons who had bought one of the vehicles and needed a transfer. The man said he never bought any vehicle from the Ministry and was on leave during the time when the transfer request was made.
The Guyana Police Force has indicated that a number of persons are being questioned about the alleged fraud and are cooperating with investigators.