Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2022, 10:45 by Writer
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Sunday fended off fresh claims that he takes bribes from Chinese investors and said he would possibly take legal action against Guyana-based Chinese businessman, Su Zhi Rong for sullying his name and engaging in extortion.
“Su denied having said this. Now, I have seen the release that he has actually said this so now I’ll have to ensure that I take some steps in regard to dealing with that because he has used his friendship to basically leverage it and in so doing destroying my reputation and extorting investors,” Mr. Jagdeo told Demerara Waves Online News/News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM.
Mr. Jagdeo said he would be evicting Mr. Su from his property but he does not know where he is. Mr Su, according to Mr. Jagdeo, has paid rent up to May, 2022.
Just hours after news reports surfaced of Mr. Jagdeo denying that he gets involved in business deals with Mr. Su, his friend, who looked after all their agreements, the top elected government official threatened to take action against the businessman.
The Vice President said when a Vice News reporter visited his home, in the company of Mr Su, and sought to get him to discuss a project that that Chinese businessman was involved in, Mr Jagdeo said, “I made it clear that I did not want to discuss the specifics of his projects; that my job was from the government side to facilitate projects for everyone.”
In what appears to be Mr. Jagdeo’s first-time revelation that Mr. Su and others had visited his home at Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, the Vice President said the purported investor “attempted to offer me a bribe but he spoke to Su in Chinese.”
Mr. Jagdeo said, while he was unaware that he was being recorded, the bribe could have been offered at the stage “if he actually wanted to verify whether I would take a bribe.”
Against that background, Mr. Jagdeo noted that Mr. Su, whom he has previously acknowledged is his friend and tenant, had lied about using his name. He did not categorically state whether he would take private legal action or file a police complaint against the businessman. “Su seems to have said to him that he will collect the money and so this is precisely what I was saying all along that I don’t know what Su and the others have been telling the reporters or investors who come to this country,” he said
Mr. Jagdeo said Guyana government politicians do not have to be bribed. “They do not have to pay a single cent to any government officials to facilitate their investment. Our job is to do that on our own and so if they are ripping off these investors and collecting their money as a service fee or whatever else, they are keeping all of it to themselves,” he said.
In the Vice News production titled “Guyana For Sale” , Mr Jagdeo told the news team that posed as investors, who were interested in prime lands for the construction of a hotel and casino to cater for the oil sector, that he does not deal with business because he is in government and Su is his friend. “I’m not getting involved in business. Su is my friend. He gets all the support. Su deals with all the agreements. I don’t, I don’t. The thing is that, my thing is that I’m in government so I assist from government side. That’s it,” Mr. Jagdeo said.
Mr. Su is heard telling the Vice News undercover reporters that he had good connections with the Vice President and would split the “processing fee” with Mr. Jagdeo. “If we are doing business together, my boss is not going to receive the money directly. It’s going to be a “service” or “processing” fee. Then he’ll share some of it with me,” he said.