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…says basic information sought during interview
By Lisa Hamilton
Former Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan was questioned by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) on Tuesday but he said that no accusations were put to him.
His visit to SOCU comes after Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall announced in November that he would commence civil proceedings against Jordan and others for allegedly vesting State lands to several companies without full payment and after the passage of the no-confidence motion.
Upon request, Jordan visited the Crime Unit with his legal representative, Attorney-at-Law, Roysdale Forde. “They called yesterday and I went down there. It was a very amicable, friendly chat. They just wanted to know, as Minister, whether I had responsibilities to do with NICIL and what was my role at NICIL. They didn’t say anything about returning, they just said if they need any further clarifications they would call and they agreed to call my attorney,” Jordan told the Village Voice News in a telephone interview.
Nandlall has publicly contended that, except in the case where 10 per cent of the purchase price was paid, several land titles were vested by Jordan after the March 2, 2020 elections and after the APNU+AFC Government lost a No-Confidence Motion moved against them in December 2018.
The AG has provided the media with a schedule containing the names of the companies/principals, locations, date of agreement of sale, the purchase prices for the lands and the total amount paid for these lands.
It included companies such as BK Marine Inc. (Brian Tiwari); American Marine Services Inc. (Hareshnarine Sugrim); Cardiology Services Inc. (Dr. Mahendra Carpen); Guyana Oil Company Limited (Renatha Exeter, Company CEO); Supergraphics (Eton Cordis); Premier Sales and Services (Danley Major); Navigant Builders Inc. (Danny Sawh) and Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Inc. (Edmon Braithwaite).
However, Jordan has stated that his actions, regarding the vesting of State lands, have been in keeping with the law and established procedures.
On Tuesday, during the questioning, Jordan said that he was not accused of wrongdoing: “Nothing was put to me. Nothing was put to me accusing me or anything, no such thing. They were just seeking information as to what was my duties as so on…there is no accusation to put to me or any such thing [because] I didn’t perform any criminal acts.”
Based on the current Administration’s position, Nandlall has tasked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Guyana Police Force (GPF) and SOCU with investigating the matter and taking any consequential actions which may flow therefrom.
Their investigation also involves the questioning of former Head of the Special Purpose Unit (SPU), Colvin Heath-London regarding sub-letting agreements.