Six cases for court on stolen assets from the nation’s resources.
In the entire world, except Guyana, the exposure of corrupt politicians who were in office or are in office brings extensive disgust from the citizenry. Humans feel that they work hard, do not get the pay they deserve from their government but the politicians they voted for end up with luxurious mansions and enormous bank books. Even sexual misconduct does not bring out the anger in citizens as corruption does.
Financial skullduggery in the PPP Government began as soon as Cheddi Jagan took office. Jagan and his wife were inflexibly doctrinaire and shamelessly undemocratic in how they ran the PPP and the PPP administration but they were not venal politicians. They refused to countenance financial depravity among PPP leaders.
But they simply could not do anything about it because the fulcrums and the foundations of PPP rule rested upon cadres who couldn’t be moved even though Cheddi and Janet Jagan knew they were corrupt.
One just example such suffice – Pradoville One. There was a house in Pradoville One financed by kickbacks from the OMAI gold company. Both husband and wife were corrupt and when Mrs. Jagan entered the home, she was so shocked at the opulence she announced that she would never return. She never did.
The presidencies of Jagan and wife were burdened by gargantuan corruption.
It was Jagdeo who on assumption to power, knew he couldn’t stop it, joined the bandwagon and used it to cement his hegemony in the PPP. Jagdeo saw as both finance minister and president how corrupt were PPP leaders and he saw in their venality his weapon of control.
He actually encouraged corrupt patronage so he could buy support and he literally bought out the entire PPP leadership. What was frightening about the rapacity of the PPP administration 1999 -2015 was its encompassing tentacles. Families, members and relatives were involved in enormous skullduggery. AT GWI and other state entities, rather than charge their supporters for massive theft, the PPP simply allowed them to leave.
When the identities of people that SARA will place before the courts for restitution are made public, the nation certainly should not be nonplussed. These persons are known to have accumulated vast wealth. One of the beneficiaries of PPP corruptibility has more than 120 properties in Georgetown alone. For the third time in these columns, I am repeating a repugnant example of how PPP cabals stole the wealth of this nation. Here it is.
A prime piece of real estate on which once stood a Ministry under President Burnham was in a terrible state. Overgrown bushes had devoured the lot. One of Mr. Jagdeo’s intimate pals thought it was still state owned land. In fact, it was privatised by the Hoyte presidency. Jagdeo’s superrich friend sent his workers to clear, clean and fence the land. The private, legal owner turned up and asked the labourers what they were doing on his property. They duly informed him who sent them. That was the end of the matter.
Now just imagine how many instances you had of such a situation where this gentleman took prime real estate that was state lands and state buildings and simply used his Jagdeo connection to claim state assets. SARA has a waterproof case against this fellow. The SARA court cases have come three years after the APNU+AFC coalition took power and it had to be protracted because tracing stolen assets from the state is an agonizingly long process.
When you steal state money and bank it under the aunt’s name of your wife’s cousin, it will be traced by forensic financial investigators but it takes time. There is the infamous case where a PPP official made billions and said he earned it from selling phone cars. I knew a neighbourhood shop that sold more cards than him and the owner still cannot buy an expensive car.
Many layers of international investigators are involved. SARA originally had advisors from the UN.
PPP leaders have perambulated the territory of Guyana speaking on behalf of sugar workers and low income classes but if only these poor souls know the stolen resources these people possess then sugar workers should demand they help them. It will be interesting to see the reaction of these very strata of the Guyanese society when these cases hit the news.
A former minister is willing to pay market value for his Pradoville 2 house lot. Where did he get that kind of cash from? Another Pradoville 2 beneficiary sold her house for one million American dollars; yes, one million. Under the law, you cannot sell a house lot from the state until after ten years of purchase. Some persons are trembling.