The Agriculture Ministry has ordered that the Board of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) launch an investigation into the operations at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate after reports surfaced about the disappearance of a large quantity of sugar.
Agriculture Minister Noel Holder on Thursday confirmed that he was personally contacted about this matter prior to the publication of a report in Guyana Times on March 1, and had immediately contacted GuySuCo Board Chairman, Dr Harold Davis.
According to the Minister, he directed Dr Davis to carry out internal investigations at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate and should the official implicated in the matter be found culpable, he must be handed over to the Police.
However, GuySuCo claimed that no bagging of sugar was done at the Estate, since the first crop had not commenced at that time; hence, no employee could have been instructed to dispose of any excess molasses to hide evidence of the missing sugar.
This online publication had earlier reported that a quantity of sugar that was supposed to have been packaged and shipped out of the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate/Factory, West Coast Demerara, went missing and that one of the senior managers attached there may be sent packing soon.
A source close to the sugar industry told this newspaper that this case came to light recently when the first crop for 2019 ended and an audit was conducted to determine the performance of the workers and the output of the Estate and Factory.
In December, the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate, along with the Albion and Blairmont Sugar Estates, had surpassed their production target for the year 2018. This led to a number of qualified employees receiving bonuses for last year as a reward for their performances.
The workers, along with the management teams, at the three locations were urged to continue along this path, but with declarations of lower outputs at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate thus far for 2019, this means that the workers who could have benefited from weekly incentives during that period would have not received them.