$956M local Bank fraud: Fingered Manager in custody, assisting investigations


-Natural Resources Ministry probing Guyana Gold Board link

The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) Limited, Bartica Branch, Manager who was fingered in the $956 million fraud allegedly committed on the institution by Saddiqi Rasul, but was on the run, has since turned herself over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in the company of her lawyer.

Saddiqi Rasul

Inews was informed that the woman, identified as Tanzy Powell, was taken into custody and was assisting with investigations.

Powell reportedly colluded with Rasul to change cheques to the sum of $956 million before clearing them with Citizens Bank – the bank from where the cheques originated. It is believed that the Manager did not follow protocol stipulated by the Bank’s policy before clearing the cheques.

This concern was raised by Rasul’s legal representative on Monday, while making a successful application for bail for his client. His client was released on $3 million bail and was scheduled to return to court on April 21.

Rasul, of Prashad Nagar and of First Avenue Bartica, who is the owner of SSS Minerals Trading Inc, allegedly deposited six cheques between March 21 and 24, 2017. The cheques were in the sum of $290 million, $96 million, $138 million, $89 million, $298 million and $45 million.

The incident became public on Thursday last and within a few hours, Rasul turned himself in to the CID headquarters in the company of his lawyer.

Following his arrest, the Police swooped down on several of the man’s properties in Bartica and Georgetown, along with his offices in Kitty, Georgetown; Bartica and Charity, Essequibo Coast, but came up empty-handed. In addition, several of his close associates were arrested and questioned, including his close ally, Hari Roopnarine.

Rasul allegedly conned several gold dealers of hundreds of millions of dollars. He presently has several lawsuits pending from clients whose money he reportedly took to purchase gold, but instead fraudulently converted it to his own use.

A few years ago, he collected close to $200 million from gold dealers to purchase gold, but this purchase never materialised.

Rasul was also implicated in the multimillion-dollar fraud committed on Mohamed and Sons. His cousin was charged and granted $15 million bail. Rasul was reportedly the mastermind in that fraud.

Probing Guyana Gold Board link

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) says it has noted the media reports regarding the charges of alleged bank fraud against licenced gold dealer Saddiqi Rafeek Mohamed Rasul and the alleged linkages with personnel at the Guyana Gold Board.

As a consequence of these reports, the Ministry in a statement said that it “will maintain its vigilance over the operations of the Board and will task the incoming Directors  with the immediate task of probing this and related matters as to whether anyone from the agency acted improperly or outside of their mandate in conducting business with said licenced gold dealer.”

Moreover the MNR posited that in the interest of transparency and accountability within the natural resources sector they have requested the Guyana Police Force to provide additional information and clarification with a view to aiding the investigation.

The MNR says it “will be fully engaged with the authorities in addressing any matter of impropriety in the sector, and in particular, to ensure that the Guyana Gold Board is a credible and reliable institution of State.”


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