by Zena Henry
Government is probing the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Natural Resources as it tries to recover more than GUY$1 million dollars in “free fuel,” reportedly drawn by former government personnel or associates of the previous administration.
This was stated by Joseph Harmon, Minister of State, when he held Cabinet’s weekly press conference Wednesday July 1, at the Ministry of the Presidency. Harmon told media operatives that given the probe into the “free fuel” scandal, the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil) has supported this move to highlight a number of what he said were, “conflict of interest” matters apart from former government personnel drawing state fuel without paying.
Harmon said that it was so far discovered that non- governmental vehicles had been drawing free fuel from GuyOil and charging the bill to the three ministries. “These were vehicles collecting fuel that were not owned by the State. So it is the owners of these vehicles that we are going to be dealing with because the bill went to the ministries to be paid.”
The Minister had highlighted last week the abuse of the Guyoil credit facility extended to state agencies; disclosing that former government personnel and their relatives have been abusing the system. He stated that those persons guilty would have to pay for the fuel or face the consequences.
Wednesday, Harmon said that government has identified some five vehicles and the names of individuals who were not employed by the ministries. He said together, there is an outstanding bill of over GUY$200,000 to be paid for each vehicle. He said too that, “There were vehicles that were actually drawing 20 gallons a day; drawing gasoline in containers.”
Apart from Guyoil, Harmon noted persons working in government had been siphoning off fuel from private gas stations,