Trinidadian companies, Scientific and Medical Products Limited (SciMed) and Western Scientific Company Limited operating in Guyana were debarred by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for fraud and collusion practices on local projects funded by the Bank.
Scientific and Medical Products Limited (SciMed) was debarred from March 31, 2016 to October 15, 2020 for fraudulent practices. The company is a distributor of laboratory and process equipment, and exclusively represent a number of leading manufacturers in the UK.
Additionally, another four-year sanction over the same period was meted out to Western Scientific Company Limited also over fraudulent practices. This Trinidadian company is a marketing, sales and distribution firm specialising in the areas of scientific, clinical/medical, furniture, audio-visual, education, technical service and consultancy.
Meanwhile, former head of the Citizen Security Programme, Khemraj Rai, is among several entities, including individuals and firms, who have been debarred by the IDB.
According to the IDB, these firms and individuals were sanctioned by the IDB Group’s Sanctions Committee because they were found to have engaged in fraud, corruption, collusion, coercion, or obstruction in violation of the IDB Group’s anti-corruption policies.
The list, which is published on the Bank’s website, named three individuals and two firms from Guyana as well as two individuals and two firms from Trinidad that were involved in IDB funded-projects in Guyana and who were debarred from working on any projects funded by the Bank over a period of time.
The IDB has sanctioned Abel Khemraj Rai for eight years, that is, from August 23, 2016 to August 22, 2024 for “fraudulent and collusive practices”.
Rai had resigned from the IDB-funded US$19.8 million Citizen Security Programme in 2013 after there were allegations that he used his position to grant contracts to himself using someone else’s name.
IDB had sent a team down to Guyana to investigate the allegations made by a former construction supervisor under the project, Viddiadat Jaisari.
It was reported that a company was set up to benefit from small contracts and was in the name of the West Coast Berbice contractor. The company had a joint bank account with Rai as one of the principals.
However, Jaisari had alleged that his company’s name was being used to bid for contracts, reportedly without his knowledge. He had claimed that Rai mostly managed and withdrew money from the account of the company under his (Jaisari’s) name.
Also debarred from IDB projects was West Coast Berbice farmer Siddhartha Rai, who was sanctioned from June 30, 2016 to June 29, 2019 for collusive practices. His companies Sidrai Radiators Works and Sidrai Enterprises were the two local firms also sanctioned for collusive practices over the same three-year period.
The other Guyanese debarred from IDB-funded projects was Ron Jaisari, who was sanctioned from June 30, 2016 until June 29, 2022 over collusive and fraudulent practices.
Mario Ricard Dell and Edwin K Mackoon, both of Trinidad, were debarred over fraudulent practices for a period spanning March 31, 2016 to October 15, 2020.
The IDB noted that the findings against these firms and individuals were made through an administrative process that permitted the accused firms and/or individuals to respond to the allegations pursuant to the Sanctions Procedures. Sanctions are meant to prevent and deter fraud and corruption in IDB Group-financed activities.
The Sanctions Committee may impose any sanction that it deems to be appropriate under the circumstances, including but not limited to reprimand, conditions on future contracting and debarment. Debarred firms are declared ineligible to be awarded and participate in any IDB-financed contract for the periods indicated.
Ineligibility may extend to any firm or individual who directly or indirectly controls the debarred firm or any firm which the debarred firm directly or indirectly controls. In the case of a debarred individual, ineligibility may extend to any firm which the debarred individual directly or indirectly controls. (Guyana Times)