Govt to strengthen laws to deal with property fraud

Anil Nandlall

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall says the Government is examining ways to strengthen legislation to protect property owners from fraud.

He made this statement on Tuesday during his guest appearance on DPI’s ‘Government in Action.’

The Attorney General said fraudsters are forging documents and selling people’s properties unknown to them.

“This type of fraudulent conduct has repeatedly occurred especially in recent times, with alarming prevalence having regard to, I guess, the boldness, which now endow criminals, as well as the fact that you have, I suppose technological advances and the fraud manifests itself in many ways.”

Referencing recent incidents where persons have been defrauded, AG Nandlall said he has asked the Crime Chief to launch a “full blown” investigation into the matter.

“If there is a Notary Public involved, who may have executed a Power of Attorney, investigate that component of the transaction. Obviously, the matter was filed at the Deeds Registry, investigate that component, investigate the officers. If it was advertised in the Official Gazette, then let the investigation go as well and let us see where the fraud actually took place,” he said.

It is against this backdrop that the Government plans to examine both the administrative apparatus and the statutory framework to improve the system, both in terms of the law and the administrative process. This was buttressed by a call from the Caribbean Court of Justice to examine the legal framework.

The Attorney General advises persons to peruse the Official Gazette to safeguard themselves. He said while copies are available for purchase at the Office of the President, it is also available online free of cost here: Official Gazette

Additionally, he said, following discussions with the Guyana National Printers Limited on improving the accessibility of the Official Gazette, he is in the process of crafting a Cabinet paper to support the initiative.

Nandlall encouraged the public to familiarise themselves with the Official Gazette and to continuously check the updated publications to ensure that their properties are not listed for sale. The Attorney General also said there needs be more public education campaigns on the matter as “everyone has a duty to protect their property.”