Forensic audits for Rice Board reveal strange financial practises, Police notified

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 January 2017, 15:56 by Derwayne Wills

More forensic audit reports have been brought before cabinet, according to Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman during a mid-afternoon post-cabinet press briefing.

Trotman said forensic audits for the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL), Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), and Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) we’re submitted.

The minister continued saying Minister within the Finance Ministry, Jaipaul Sharma has already raised some of the findings with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) in hopes further investigation would continue.

“In Guyana we start from presumption of innocence,” Trotman told the press corps when asked whether the heads of those agencies audited would be removed from their posts.

“If at the level of police there is a belief that charges can be laid, then at that stage something is expected,” Trotman clarified.

Trotman said the Public Infrastructure as well as Public Security Ministers are involved in probing and further examining the reports.

Trotman zeroed on on the GRDB forensic audit saying a number of persons resigned from the Board when the administration changed in 2015.

Some half a billion United States Dollars passed through the GRDB over a three or four year period, the minister noted adding that this money was attached to the PetroCaribe Fund.

There were some anomalies, he said, relating to loans issued without approval of the Board, or even without promissory notes. There remain little to no signs of evidence to support those loans.

Trotman said three were also issues of monies being used to trade foreign currency which, according to the exchange rate, could see more monies being taken out if incorrect exchange rates were used.

“These instances cry out for immediate attention,” Trotman added.

There are a number of forensic audits already before the police. Trotman noted this overburdening, adding that the police budget could possibly be boosted to support the retaining of expertise to examine and investigate the reports. This seems to be the same from the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).