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Jagdeo denies taking bribes from Chinese companies

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 February 2022, 16:19 by Writer

Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has rejected claims of kickbacks to facilitate Chinese investors doing business in Guyana.

In an interview with the United States-headquartered Vice News that was posted on his Facebook page, he admits that he helps people but he denies that he takes bribes. “I help people out but doesn’t mean for consideration. It does not mean for bribe because I believe that we have a mission to help as many as possible move forward in Guyana,” he said.

He admits that he knows a gentleman whose name is Mr. Su who is his friend and his tenant but said that he is lying on him if he told the reporter those allegations.

Asked pointedly if he used middlemen like Su to take money on his behalf, Mr. Jagdeo said “no, the answer is no”. Pressed on why he thought that Su would say something like that, Mr. Jagdeo said he did not know and that the interviewer should ask Su.

The Vice President told the reporter that “if you’re looking to catch another, you have to come with details, you have to come with evidence.”

Mr. Jagdeo said he was unaware of Mr. Su’s operations possibly as a lobbyist for Chinese state-owned companies to develop infrastructure companies for as much as $500,000. “I don’t know how he makes his money. A lot of people are lobbyists and stuff like that here but if you check our policy-making, it’s clear,” he said.

Vice President Jagdeo, during a heated segment of the interview, accused the reporter of coming to Guyana to make someone look corrupt based on claims by an anonymous person or her fabrication. “How could I comment on a manager who does business with Su when I don’t know what is the nature of Su’s business so why would I want to even comment on this. You keep trying to get me to do something that I simply can’t do,” he said.

He said the Integrity Commission should be able to assess his assets, adding that the previous government had probed his wealth including his foreign bank accounts.

Mr. Jagdeo said he has met more American than Chinese companies “not because they are paying a bribe and they can be prosecuted globally.” He said Guyana’s laws are compliant with global standards to fight financial crimes.

The previous People’s Progressive Party Civic administration ⁠— 1992 to 2015 ⁠— had been often accused of corruption by the opposition and certain publications.