$956M local bank fraud: Accused charged, granted $3M bail

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The gold dealer implicated in the $956M local bank fraud was on Monday charged with six counts of fraud.

34-year-old Saddiqi Rasul the owner of SSS Minerals Trading Inc. who was accused of committing fraud at Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) made his first appearance at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.

Saddiqi Rasul

The court heard that Rasul changed six cheques to the sum of $956 million dollars at GBTI between March 21 and 24, 2017. The cheques carried the sums, 290M, 96M, 138M, 89M, 298M and 45M respectively.

The fraud was made public on Thursday last and within a few hours, the suspect turned himself into the CID headquarter in the company of his lawyer.

At the court on Monday, Rasul’s legal representative, Sandil Kissoon accused the bank of negligence while noting that the Bank’s manager did not follow protocol, a prerequisite of the Bank’s policy.

The Bank’s manager, however, is still on the run.

Rasul was granted bail in the sum of $3 million by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and his next court appearance is scheduled for the April 21, 2017.

Rasul, allegedly robbed and conned several gold dealers of hundreds of millions of dollars.

He currently has several lawsuits pending from clients who reported that he took money to purchase gold but instead fraudulently converted it to his own use.

Since his arrest, members of the Major Crimes Unit (MCU) of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) swooped down on several of the suspect’s offices and houses where they conducted searches but came up empty handed.

The GBTI fraud occurred at its Bartica office.

Based on initial reports received, Rasul deposited the money in cheques into his bank account at GBTI.

The cheques were, however, from Citizens bank, but the manager of GBTI reportedly went ahead and effected payment without the cheques being cleared.

Inews understands that several close associates of the suspect were reportedly arrested and assisting police as the probe intensifies.

 

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