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Updated: Ramotar says US$5 M for GT&T shares still outstanding

ex-President Donald Ramotar

ex-President Donald Ramotar

Ex-President Donald Ramotar on Thursday maintained that US$5 million for Guyana’s shares in Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) have not yet been paid.

“The five million US (dollars) is still outstanding,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.  Later Thursday, he issued a prepared statement calling on the government to lay bare its records to show that the money was paid by the Chinese telecoms company, Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group to the Guyana government. “I challenge the Government to present the “documents” it has received (under suspicious and questionable circumstances) so that the veracity of the evidence can be tested and authenticated,” he said.

Ramotar added that the US$25 million that have been already paid for the 20 percent stake in the phone company were received by National Industrial Commercial and Investments Limited (NICIL).

This is after APNU+AFC administration stated a recent trip to China for a US$5 million debt supposedly owed by a telecoms company for Guyana’s shares in GT&T has turned up more questions than cash. However, the former President said the paper-trail was there to prove where the money is. “Any claim that amounts were paid, would not be hard to prove.

The only entity that was and is authorized to receive any monies from the purchaser for this transaction was NICIL. One would assume that had NICIL received this money then there would be a receipt or some form of banking documentation to show its payments. Any claim that some other entity or person received this money would also be easy to prove or disprove.”

Government spokesman, Raphael Trotman told a post-cabinet news conference that Minister of State, Joseph Harmon’s recent visit to China to meet with Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group did not yield good news.

“What I can say is that Mr. Harmon has been able to retrieve some documents which tell a different story. That story being, of course, that the five million was paid so we are trying to track down to whom, how and where and when?… that is before May 16, 2015,”  Trotman said in clear reference to the date the APNU+AFC coalition took office following the elections five days earlier.

When contacted, Ramotar said that it seems as though some folly was afoot. He said as far as he can recall, the monies were paid into NICIL’s accounts but not transferred to the treasury.

“This is the first time I am hearing that this is an issue,” said the Former Head of State who then suggested that “somebody seems to be throwing dust in somebody’s eyes.”

Ramotar stated that forensic audits that were done at NICIL would show exactly where the money went and that is where the APNU+AFC should begin its search.

“The money was paid into NICIL…government has a forensic audit into NICIL so ask the forensic auditors what happened. The money went through NICIL,” the ex President emphasized.

The veteran politician said government’s insinuation that the money was paid to someone else or some other entity other than NICIL prior to the May 2015 elections was a distraction from the real issues. “It’s belligerent claims of massive corruption under the PPP/C administration have yet to be proven by this government. This latest claim is an expected APNU/AFC political ploy to appeal to peoples’ emotions rather than seeking the truth.

This claim is designed to digress from answering the people’s demands for explanations on who really paid for the trip to China, the naming of the ‘honorific’ advisors and party contributors, and demands for decisive actions against the increase in crime in our country.” he said.

  • KassemB

    ‘Ramotar says ‘missing’ monies for GT&T shares received by NICIL’
    That is not the purpose of the media exposure.
    The purpose is to create a diversion and milk the idea that the PPP under Bharat and your regime as corrupt

    • Who originally claimed that there was an outstanding amount!.
      Look ,prosecute these people for ”misappropriation of funds”/ ”throwing dust deliberately in the eyes of the Nation”. No incoming administration should have to depend on a Forensic Audit to locate ”funds”. Charge somebody!…anybody!

      • MEMES Unlimited

        Spot on…charges and/or severe reprimands for dereliction of duties & responsibilities. We sorely need a purely independent FBI type agency to curtail all of these “corrupt” politicians and curb these activities and shenanigans, forthwith.

        • KassemB

          ‘Spot on…charges and/or severe reprimands for dereliction of duties & responsibilities.’
          And what if in the end, the Alliance Gov’t knew it was paid to NICIL all along and the condition met?
          What would be your penalty to the culprits?

      • KassemB

        And what happen if was in NICIL Account all the time, and all the Alliance gurus could not locate it/do not want to admit it is there so that the dirt can keep flying and stick on the previous Gov’t?

        • rs dasai

          A big ‘IF”.

      • eddie

        as far as I am concern that is all it was accusation against the PPP because if they had anything on them you bet this was the ideal time to make a move to slide the heat from LIL JOE,,,,, the big question is where is the 5M by god you mean they make this accusation and they are the one cant account for it ,,, this is not a clown show anymore this is some clueless idiot that make a clown look like a wall street banker

      • rs dasai

        Too much of who received the $$$$. NO one said that it was sent by the company that owes the GVT. Nuff taak and blame.

  • MEMES Unlimited

    Assuming Ramotar’s is accurate by way of his forthright pronouncement, then, it stands to reason that this is much ado about nothing…seemingly.
    However, I read this as being another one of the Coalition’s crude and amateurish spins; the “Harmon ill fated China trip” as the latest episode, to create doubt for constituents and shift blame. Another statement later to correct mistake of failing crosscheck NICIL income statement….Harmon the “man of harm”.

  • SYL

    Don’t get a heart attack, the coalition govt. as it is known are players from PPP , PNC, AFC, WPA, and any other that can be found. So all these guys play together, and are friends, so they cannot “call out” any of their friends.So its a Hollywood, Bollywood show, all actors on show, and the people are the spectators. The only thing the spectators can do is either enjoy or endure the show. The president, is in the middle of an apparent den of lion thieves. So who is going to prosecute , they are all friends. Its just HAPPY HOUR 24/7 . SHOW TIME!

  • weir

    Look at the announcement of closing LBI . Harmon went to China to negotiate possibly sale of GuySuCo’s lands that will soon become available by closing of LBI .

    • Emile_Mervin

      If only the coalition would stop pulling a Jagdeo on the country on this issue! Harmon has emerged as an extremely polarized political figure with a penchant for money, and unless Granger takes this bull by the horn, it will break up all the China in the cup.

      Whether GuySuCo lands will be gobbled up by the Chinese or BK will be buying a plane from China or elsewhere remains to be seen, but I am beginning to suspect the outstanding US$5m in GT& T shares were paid when Harmon traveled to China with BK. Others on the trip appeared to be a camouflage for the real purpose of the trip. Unfortunately, no one knows the truth because there is covering up taking place on this issue.