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GGMC Commissioner sent on leave

Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Rickford Vieria.

Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman has ordered the Chairman of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) , Rickford Vieria to proceed on leave immediately pending a decision on a no-confidence motion passed by the Board.

Chairman of the Board, Clinton Williams has told Demerara Waves Online News that the matter is in the hands of the government for a decision to be made.

Vieria confirmed receiving a letter on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 signed Trotman who heads the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Ministry of the Presidency. Vieria is being sent on indefinite leave for government to decide his fate.

Multiple sources confirmed that the letter did not contain any details about the alleged infractions that Vieria had purportedly committed that resulted in the no-confidence motion by the Board.

Well-placed sources say this latest development is expected to open a proverbial can of worms about the management of that regulatory agency. One of them is Vieria having been instructed to sign a cheque for GYD$3 billion to be handed over the Ministry of Housing to in turn by lands from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco). That was essentially intended to be a bail-out package for the bankrupt state-owned sugar corporation. However, the cheque was never signed.

Concerns are also being raised about how a top GGMC decision-maker was granted an irrevocable power attorney for several mineral properties.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon told a news conference earlier Wednesday that government would not interfere in the decision by the board whose life expires on December 31, 2015. He later added that the matter “has not come to Cabinet.”