The Final Report of the Forensic Audit on the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) was handed over to Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud at his office yesterday, in the presence of Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Assistant Commissioner Sydney James.
The report was handed over by Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma.
This follows a decision made by Cabinet at its January 24 meeting. The police will now investigate the findings of the report. The audit into GRDB was ordered by the government in June of 2015 and was undertaken by the auditing firm of Nigel Hinds and Associates. The action was taken after it was discovered that $100M was allegedly loaned to the Guyana Rice Producers Association’s (GRPA’s) General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj reportedly to pay rice farmers who had supplied paddy but were owed by the previous administration.
The loan agreement featured the signatures of former Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and was reportedly approved by former GRDB General Manager Jagnarine Singh.
The controversial loan, which remains outstanding, has been described by Minister Sharma as “ad hoc” and purportedly signed with the understanding that the loan would have been repaid in October 2014.
The forensic audit was one of many launched last year into the operations of state agencies and a number of state funded projects under the previous administration. (GINA)