James Bond charged for shady NICIL land deals

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Former People’s National Congress (PNC) Executive James Bond, who was implicated and interrogated by the police last year in connection with certain shady land deals emanating out of the National industrial and Commercial Investments Limit (NICIL) that were flipped and undersold, will be charged today.

According to Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum, the former PNC Member of Parliament (MP) will face three counts of conspiracy to defraud and will make his court appearance today (April 1) at the Georgetown Magistrates Court. When contacted by this publication, efforts to get a comment from Bond were futile.

Bond was the attorney who represented three companies at the centre of the Peters Hall land investigation – Life 1 Pharms Incorporated, A-Z Pharmaceutical Medical Supplies and Equipment Inc and Arken Group – in the drafting of leases by NICIL… a probe which commenced soon after the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) came to power in August of last year.

Avalon Jagnandan, proprietor of Life 1 Pharms Incorporated, and Eddie Doolall of A-Z Pharmaceutical Medical Supplies and Equipment Inc were questioned by the Police in relation to the flipping of the lands.
Both men, in their statements to Police, implicated Bond as the person who arranged the sale of the lands. Both men have similar stories of being told by Bond to apply to NICIL for the land, after which a buyer was found by the former Member of Parliament and money paid over to him.

The businessmen also claimed that Bond received $60 Million from each of them. Bond, who was detained and interrogated by the Police in November, had staunchly denied this and had claimed that Jagnandan’s particular claim of paying these monies at a lawyer’s office can be refuted.

The leases were controversial in nature since they were in contravention of the stipulations regarding the disposal of State laws, which stipulate that when State lands are leased, the lease must state that the lessee must not part with possession without the consent of the State.

However, in this case, both Life 1 Pharms Incorporated and A-Z Pharmaceutical Medical Supplies and Equipment Inc – which each leased 15 acres of land from NICIL at an annual rate of US$11,700 – flipped those lands to a Chinese national for just $100.

In the case of Arken Group, the proprietor of that company leased 20.8 acres of land for an annual fee of US$16,224, and had his address listed as the same as Bond’s. It was revealed that Bond then received US$1 million for the property after it was flipped to a local oil and gas company.

In spin offs from the case, both Bond and former APNU/AFC Minister Jaipaul Sharma were sued by Attorney General Anil Nandlall, over libellous posts they made about him via Facebook. On November 17, 2020, Sharma, a former junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, referred to the PPP/C Government as “hypocritical” for going after Bond and others for questionable land deals using the office of the Attorney General.

In the publication, Sharma claimed that Mohabir A. Nandlall & Associates, in which Nandlall was the senior and managing partner before he was appointed Attorney General and implicated him in allegations of similar land transfers.

On the other hand, Nandlall stated, shortly after Sharma had published the offensive posts, Bond published a post containing libellous remarks about him that were similar to what Sharma claimed.