Mohameds gold dealer’s licence to be pulled in wake of U.S. sanctions

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 18:23 by Writer

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) is finalising preparations to revoke the Mohameds gold dealership license, following the United States’ imposition of sanctions on Nazar “Shell” Mohamed and his son Azruddin, according to well-placed sources.

The effect of the sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for allegedly defrauding Guyana of US$50 million on 10 kilogrammes of gold sales from 2019 to 2023 means that the Mohameds and their businesses are prohibited from doing most business, and their assets in the U.S. have been effectively frozen.

The paperwork has already been finalised, according to the sources, and now the next step is to conduct due diligence on the amount of gold that is currently in possession of Mohamed’s Enterprise.

The Bank of Guyana has already revoked the Mohameds foreign exchange dealer’s licence.

Last week, the Guyana government said the Bank of Guyana and the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Intelligence Unit had been tasked with assessing the exposure of the country’s financial sector as a result of the sanctions.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Mae Thomas was sent on leave almost immediately after the U.S.’ announcement. She subsequently resigned from the Central Committee of the governing People’s Progressive Party. The Treasury Department alleged that, as Permanent Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, she used her position to offer benefits to Mohamed’s Enterprise and Azruddin, among others, in exchange for cash payments and high-value gifts. The U.S. also alleged that Ms Thomas misused her position to influence the award of official contract bids and the approval processes for weapons permits and passports on behalf of Mohamed’s Enterprise.

U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Nicole Theriot has recommended that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Inland Revenue Service to provide as much unclassified information to the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance to assist local investigators.