Teixeira clears air on Wikileaks Cable; Admits to rampant corruption at GRO
By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Home Affairs Minister, Gail Teixeira has sought to clarify damning revelations in a recent Wikileaks cable, which noted that she had told the United States back in 2005 that her predecessor, Ronald Gajraj was corrupt and was involved in visa racketeering with another senior government official, whom she was forced to sideline.
At a press conference on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at Freedom House, Teixeira made it clear that the discussion between herself and officials from the United States Embassy in Georgetown was strictly confidential but became public knowledge in 2011 as a result of Wikileaks.
She explained that when the cables were released in 2011, it mostly had to do with the crime wave and the handing over of taped conversations of Roger Khan to her by US Embassy officials.
“So in my first statement, I questioned what is written there in the cable and what is stated. For example it says that we had a discussion on Henry Green suitability as a Commissioner of Police on December 23, 2005. This never took place. In 2005 December, Mr Felix was Commissioner of Police and at no point was there any discussion as his retirement would come up in June/July of 2006,” she said.
The Guyana Chronicle Newspaper recently reported that Teixeira said that Gajraj was corrupt; however according to her, “I have not been able to access the Wikileaks that Chronicle is referring to but in all of these cables and any mission, any government, foreign missions send what is called briefings to every single meeting we have….in those cables, they put their own personal assessments. The way the Chronicle article is written as if certain things, which were the Charge de Affaires opinion, are put over as if I said that. I did not.”
She admitted that there was rampant corruption at the Guyana Registrar’s Office (GRO) during her tenure as Home Affairs Minister, pointing out that herself and former Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix were inundated by reports from the US Embassy of fraudulent passports and fraudulent birth certificates.
“The American Embassy was asked by me to please provide evidence of these fake documents. Now the GRO ones were particularly disturbing because they were actually authentic birth certificates with the watermark of the GRO, with the signatures of people who worked at the GRO but the information on it was false. Those persons didn’t exist and from that false document, it then created another false document – fake passports,” Teixeira said.
She further noted that “The passports were real, they were genuine but the persons on it were not real and it was that evidence I asked for from the Americans; the Americans brought me also fictitious marriage certificates…as a result of this, action was taken to have investigations and there were several police investigations under Mr. Felix as Commissioner of Police.”
According to the former government minister, recommendations were made for a number of persons from GRO to be charged and sent home but Felix, chose not to act on them.
Felix is now the Minister of Citizenship under the APNU+AFC administration.
“One marriage officer was removed because he was one of those who were signing marriage certificates for marriages in which one person or no person was in front of him,” Teixeira said.