Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 April 2023, 14:47 by Denis Chabrol
Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States, Samuel Hinds on Tuesday denied that he ever played a role in hiring an American lobbying firm to assist city businessman Nazar ‘Shell’ Mohamed in clearing his name of grave allegations so that he might be considered favourably for an American visa.
“I wish to categorically state that at no time did I contact or had any discussion with the BGR Group pertaining to Mr Mohamed’s visa issues,” he said in a statement hours after the Demerara Waves Online News article.
Managing Director of BGR Group, Tom Locke on Tuesday said his company had been contacted by Guyana’s Ambassador to the US to assist Mr Mohamed. When asked whether he was referring to Mr Hinds, Mr Locke could not answer the question directly.
The BGR Group, which was hired by Mr Mohamed, said it has submitted a report to the US State Department and the American Embassy here, aiming to demonstrate the weakness of allegations of drug trafficking, gun-running, gold smuggling and homicide against the businessman.
Mr Locke maintained that his client was innocent of the allegations, and said the alleged smuggling of gold to Curacao and possible financing of the Lebanese political militant group, Hezbollah, have been addressed in the larger report that has been submitted to the US government.
Mr Mohamed’s last American visa expired about 11 years ago and his effort to secure another one has been put on hold for administrative reasons, according to Mr Locke.
BGR is also relying on due diligence that has been conducted by several American and other foreign oil sector companies to give Mr Mohammed a pass grade on his character. Mr Locke said he had spoken with representatives of those companies.
At the same time Mr Locke, a former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent, said he did not speak with any other person locally who might have had opposing or adverse views about Mr Mohamed as he had done his own investigations about them and did not consider them credible.