Essequibo businessman charged for unlicenced gold trade


The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) today charged an Essequibo businessman, who was allegedly involved in buying gold in the Port Kaituma district, without the necessary documentation.

Tarique Deonarine, the proprietor of ‘T and J Transportation Services’ at Port Kaituma, Region One, and of Windsor Castle, Essequibo Coast was charged with the offences of purchasing gold from a person other than the “Board or agent authorised by the Board and Possession of gold by a person not being a producer, pursuant to the Guyana Gold Board Act, Chapter 66:01.”

He appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Delon Bess where the charges were read to him and he pleaded not guilty.

He was placed on $60,000 bail on each of the charge. The matters were adjourned to May 10 for further hearing.

According to a police statement, “Information surfaced that the defendant was in the habit of buying gold at Port Kaituma Water Front, North West District…without being the holder of the requisite license.”

As a result, police officials in collaboration with officers from the Ministry of Natural Resources conducted a sting operation and the defendant was caught in the act.

His business place was subsequently searched and 20.8 pennyweight of gold, two smelting molds, one smelting pot, and $897,000 in cash were found.

he matter was later handed over to SOCU for further investigation.

SOCU, pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act Chapter10:11, is the authority for investigating and prosecution of gold smuggling such as in the present cases, in pursuance of money laundering.

Several other matters of similar of gold smuggling and money laundering nature are currently under investigations by the Unit.