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Police equipped to probe white collar crime; NICIL investigation begins

Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington.

Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington.

Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud said Wednesday that a forensic audit report on the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has been handed to investigators and he assured that the Guyana Police Force has competent investigators to probe white collar crime. “The investigations have commenced,” he said.

Persaud said he was aware that NICIL’s Chief Executive officer, Winston Brassington was overseas.

Confirmation that the NICIL audit report was now in the possession of investigators came just days after Minister of State, Joseph Harmon announced that government had called in the police to conduct a criminal investigation into the matter.

Asked whether the Guyana Police Force had the competent, qualified and experienced persons to probe white collar crime, Persaud assured that the Fraud Squad has such investigators and the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) was even more equipped to conduct such probes. “Any general investigator can do that but if is one that is complicated, then we send them to specialist unit and then we have SOCU that is very, very highly trained right up to almost any country in the region so while they do not have full-time disposal to financial analyst, a lawyer and so but as a unit they have access to that and they use it whenever it needs bee but they are not inherent to the unit,” he said.

He explained that due to the GPF’s manpower size and the amount of budget, general investigators are trained and specialized units established.

Forensic Auditor, Anand Goolsarran has said that his report has found numerous damning pieces of evidence that shows how NICIL, the government’s holding company for state assets, was being run.

Brassington has professed his innocence and has said that the court would have to test whether he had breached any laws.