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U.S-based VICE News has released another report on Guyana. The report, done by investigative journalist Isobel Yeung, reveals more information on Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo, Chinese businessman Su Zhirong, and China relations. This new report titled “Undercover In Guyana: Exposing Chinese Business in South America” could be watched below. Whether this is Part II or more to come time will tell.
Since the report was first aired on June 19th, the VP has denied allegations made by Su that he is involved in corrupt practices in the awarding of government contracts. In the reporting, which was also videoed, Su could be seen meeting with the VP in his home, reportedly, with an undercover Chinese ‘businessman’ who was part of VICE’s team. In that exchange the VP, responding to inquiry about business opportunities in Guyana, was caught on tape saying: “No, no, no I’m not getting involved in business. Su is my friend. He gets all the support. Su deals with all the agreements. I don’t. The thing is that my thing is that I’m in government, so I assist from government side.”
In the interview Yeung reported that “Su says the money we pay him [apparently a middleman] under the guise of legitimate business will actually make it to the vice president.” Su, who was/is the VP tenant and living next door to him in Pradoville II was also seen on tape flaunting access to the VP and his ownership of prime Guyanese land and other resources. Su is one of Guyana’s biggest landholders, holding more than 40,000 acres in mining permits and said to have businesses in oil, quarry, and prime land that can build a casino and hotel.
Jagdeo has threatened to sue Su but that is dependent on finding Su who apparently is no longer the VP tenant. Stabroek News had reported Su paid rent up to May. Su, appearing on Mark Benschop “Straight Up” programme, admitted to renting the Pradoville II property at the monthly rent of $1.2 million, which he said was paid by cheque.
Leader of the Alliance for Change and Member of Parliament, Mr. Khemarj Ramjattan, rubbished Jagdeo’s claim about waiting to find Su in order to sue him. Speaking to Sherrod Duncan, on his “In The Ring” programme, Ramjattan said Jagdeo “is trying to bamboozle the public with BS.” It is his opinion that the VP “can’t do a damn thing to Su because the man could very well go to the court and talk the truth, which the [VP] is afraid of.”
Is Su visible, hiding in broad daylight or has left Guyana? Jagdeo said he needs Su to sue. In the meanwhile, there has been mounting pressure for the VP to demit office or for President Irfaan Ali to request his resignation. Calls are also being made for a credible independent international inquiry into the awarding of state contracts.
Watch “Undercover In Guyana: Exposing Chinese Business in South America”