Govt leaves options open for purchasing from company owned by alleged money launderer

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 March 2016, 13:29 by Denis Chabrol

Even as a Guyanese businessman awaits trial in the United States for alleged money laundering, the Guyana government on Thursday could not give a clear-cut commitment on whether it would discontinue purchasing heavy duty machinery from the company headed by the suspect.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, when asked at a post-cabinet news conference, whether government would stop buying machinery from a company , said Cabinet has so far not been asked to offer its no-objection to any contract for that entity and he was unaware of any intended purchase.

“If it comes, we will have to deal with it on its merits. It either falls or stands on its merits,” he said when asked if it would still purchase machinery from that entity in the context of the global fight against money laundering.

Legal minds have told Demerara Waves Online News that if government continues to make purchases from that company, it could be deemed as complicit in the process of layering which means that ill-gotten proceeds are used to buy and sell items legitimately.

“I think you can trust Cabinet to deliberate confidentially on these matters when it comes before it but I wouldn’t prejudge or express a bias for or against anything that comes before Cabinet. It has to be assessed objectively,” he said.

The businessman was late last year arrested by United States Federal authorities at the John F. Kennedy International Airport’s parking lot for allegedly laundering US$500,000. He has since been placed n US$1 million bail