Guyana Gold Board employees slapped with fraud charges

Rosanna Ramnarine and Deborah Forbes

Two former employees of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) were on Monday slapped with three counts of fraud charges when they appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts for allegedly attempting to forge documents to steal cash from the said organization.

Former accountant (GGB) Rosanna Ramnarine, 34, of Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara and her alleged accomplice 50-year-old Deborah Forbes, (former clerk of GGB) of Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara pleaded not guilty to all three of the charges when it was read to them by Senior Magistrate Judy Latchman.

The court heard that between January 1, 2017 and February 28, 2017, while they were employed at the Guyana Gold Board located at Lot 68 Brickdam, Georgetown, they willfully and with intent to defraud, falsified documents (payment vouchers) in possession of the Guyana Gold, purporting to show that Clinton Alphonzo received a payment of $436,409.

It was also alleged that between the same period (January 1, 2017, and February 28, 2017), the women worked together to willfully and with intent to defraud, falsify documents in possession of the Guyana Gold Board, purporting to show that Brian Chase received a payment of $436,409.

The third charge stated that Ramnarine and Forbes together stole $436,409 in cash from the said entity.

Police Prosecutor Quinn Harris made no objection to bail being granted but asked that conditions be applied. The women were ordered to lodge their travel documents and to also report to the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) on Fridays until completion of the matter.

In a submission for reasonable bail, defense Attorney Nigel Hughes told the court that his client, Ramarine was already reporting to SOCU on a weekly basis and is cooperating fully with investigators.

The women were granted bail in the sum of $450,000. The matter is expected to continue on August 27, 2018.

Stemming from ongoing investigations into an alleged multi-million-dollar fraud scheme, the employees were sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of further probes.

Reports are that an accountant and a clerk have been implicated in several illegal operations which have left one of the Board’s major suppliers still awaiting portions of payment for gold that had already been handed over to the entity.

Further, the duo, both of whom have been employed at the Guyana Gold Board for over 10 years, have allegedly managed to milk portions of the payment.

Only recently Ramnarine was slapped with six fraud charges by Magistrate Fabayo Azore after she was accused of “millions of dollars” in theft through the manipulation of the gold testing system.


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