GRDB fraud case against some former officials dismissed

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Magistrate Leron Daly today dismissed fraud charges against former officials of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB).

Those freed of the charges were former General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) Jagnarine Singh; former Deputy General Manager, Madanlall Ramraj; former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and PPP/C Member of Parliament, Nigel Dharamlall; and the Deputy Permanent Secretary Finance in the Ministry of Agriculture, Prema Roopnarine.

They were represented by Attorneys Sase Gunraj and Glen Hanoman.

In May 2017, those individuals along with former GRDB Member Badrie Persaud and former Head of the Rice Producers Association Dharamkumar Seeraj, were charged by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).

The charge had alleged that they conspired to  omit to enter different sums of money into a ledger that was deposited into the Board’s Bank Account.

The charges cover the period 2011-2015.

The case today dealt with the year 2011.

The court found that it was not the responsibility of the defendants to enter the information into the ledger.

The case against Seeraj and Persaud is set for September 20.

The Parliamentary Opposition has long argued that the charges brought against the officials were trumped up charges and that they had no merit.

Several other former government officials are facing charges in the courts, which the opposition argues is just a case of political witch-hunting and victimisation.