Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan, on Thursday morning ordered the return of passports to the former officials of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) when they appeared, for the second time, at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court for their trial.
The six persons included People’s Progressive Party Members and Parliamentarians, Dharamkumar Seeraj, and Nigel Dharamlall, former General Manager of the GRDB, Jagnarine Singh, former Deputy General Manager, Ricky Ramraj, and other former board members, Prema Roopnarine and Badrie Persaud.
They all plead not guilty to the charges which stated that between 2011 and 2015, while being members of the GRDB Board, with intent to defraud, they omitted and concurred entries into a Republic Bank account on the entity’s general ledger.
The charges alleged that in 2011, the defendants omitted to enter some $52 million in the GRDB ledger; while the second charge stated that the then board members omitted to enter a sum of $77.3 million into the said ledger.Other charges read that between the years 2014 and 2015, the sums of $130 million, $9.7 million and $145 million were respectively omitted from the GRDB register.
The matter was adjourned until July 11, 2017, as a result of the prosecution requesting more time to prepare evidence.
Inews had previously reported that in May of this year, the six former members of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) were arrested and subsequently charged with fraudulent omission.
They were subsequently placed on $500,000 bail.
They are being represented by a team of attorneys comprising of Priya Manickchand, Anil Nandlall, Sase Gunraj and Glenn Hanoman.
Nandlall had contended that the charges should not have been instituted because there allegedly is no evidence to support them.