CCJ dismisses a Guyana land appeal on the basis of fraud

Last Updated on Friday, 20 May 2016, 15:35 by Denis Chabrol

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) said that it Friday afternoon dismissed a Guyana land appeal in the matter of Chee Yiu Kwang and Another v Tsui Yokkei on the basis of a fraudulent sale and transfer of a Bartica property.

In dismissing the appeal, the CCJ agreed with and upheld the decision of the High Court and Court of Appeal of Guyana in this matter.

The dispute arose out of successive sales of a property at Bartica, Guyana, which had been originally owned by Chee Yui Kwang (Kwang) and occupied by Tsui Yokkei (Cheekee). Kwang orally agreed to sell the property to Cheekee, who began making payments in this regard. Kwang subsequently sold and transferred ownership of the Bartica property to Millicent Murray (Millicent).

Cheekee commenced an action in the High Court of Guyana on the basis that the transaction between Kwang and Millicent was fraudulent. Acting Chief Justice Chang ruled in favour of Cheekee, holding that the actions of Kwang and Millicent amounted to fraud under section 22(1) of the Deeds Registry Act (the Act).1 Kwang was ordered to transfer ownership of the property to Cheekee upon receipt of the full balance due on the property.

Both Kwang and Millicent appealed this decision at the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the ruling of Chang CJ. In bringing the matter to the CCJ, Kwang sought to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal of Guyana.

The CCJ held that the circumstances of the subsequent sale of the Bartica property to Millicent clearly fell within section 22(1). The fact that Kwang sold the property to Millicent and transferred ownership to her when she was fully aware of Kwang’s agreement of sale with Cheekee made Millicent a participant in the breach of the agreement and privy to the fraud committed by Kwang.

The CCJ therefore dismissed the appeal and ordered that the transport (transfer of ownership) of the disputed property be passed to Cheekee.

The Court was presided over by Mr Justice Nelson along with Justices Saunders, Hayton and Rajnauth-Lee. Mr Rajendra N. Poonai, Mr Devindra Kissoon and Mr Naresh Poonai appeared on behalf of the Appellants and Mr Mohabir Anil Nandlall and Mr Manoj Narayan appeared on behalf of the Respondent.