Nandlall calls on GWI boss to come clean about fuel licence
Former Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, has called on Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Dr Richard Van West-Charles, to come clean with the Guyanese public on propriety of a fuel licence issued to Atlantic Fuels Inc.
Dr Richard Van West-Charles
Nandlall made the call on Wednesday after information surfaced that Dr Van West-Charles was handed the fuel licence by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) in November last year and is valid until 2025.
The licence has been issued in the name of Atlantic Fuels Inc. Nandlall has since sought to query whether Dr Van West-Charles obtained the licence lawfully or “did he get it through the exercise of political clout and influence?”
The former AG who served as legal advisor to Government has since questioned whether the GWI boss disclose to his employers – the Government of Guyana – that he is engaged in the business of importing, wholesaling and storing fuel.
Nandlall has also called on the relevant authorities to say whether the requirements for the granting of such a licence were satisfied.
Nandlall observed that “these requirements are both numerous and onerous.” He pointed to the fact that among the criteria for the grant of such a licence requires the acquisition of suitable premises and facilities; suitable vehicles to transport fuel, including boats; environmental permits; and an Environmental Impact Assessment.
He said too, a certificate from the fire department is also required in addition to the installation “of certain devices and a host of other requirements which are contained in the regulations made under the Guyana Energy Act.”
The former Attorney General, in light of the disclosed information, has also called on the GWI CEO to say whether these business operations conflict with his current functions at GWI and whether the particulars of his business been disclosed to the Integrity Commission?
According to Nandlall, “The nation is quickly learning that we seem to have a Government of wheelers and dealers in office.”
But Dr Van West-Charles has since refused to provide any answers.
“Just relax and don’t talk to me,” was the response of the GWI CEO, when contacted on Wednesday by Guyana Times, to solicit clarification to concerns raised since it has been published that he has been granted a licence to import/wholesale and store fuel.
In fact, Dr Van West-Charles told an enquiring Guyana Times journalist, “you got gall to call me,” and hung up his telephone.
Dr Van West-Charles is a prominent supporter of the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Administration, and was former Health Minister and son-in-law to the late Forbes Burnham.
Checks with the Deeds Registry Department on Tuesday revealed that Atlantic Fuels Inc was registered as a company in February 2015 and was issued with its fuel import licence in November 2015.
Directors of the company are Dr Richard Alexander Van West-Charles, Lear Solomon Goring, Andron Alphonso and Ronaldo Alphonso.
The company’s Secretary is listed as Andron Alphonso and its address is listed as Lot 16 Sublot ‘A,’ Mudlot, Kingston, Georgetown.
The information has since led to calls for Dr Van West-Charles and the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) to clear the air on the issuance of the licence to the prominent supporter of the Administration.
The Atlantic Fuels Inc licence has listed in its articles of incorporation and fuel licence, its address in Kingston, Georgetown, but checks at the listed address however, revealed that there is no storage bond for fuel at that location, neither any signage for Atlantic Fuels Inc.
In fact, the Kingston address houses, in addition to an office for Atlantic Fuels Inc, another company, Adamantium Mining.
According to a copy of the licence, the document is valid for 10 years and was inked on November 5, 2015 by GEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mahender Sharma.
The licence #: IL/0055 of 2015 grants to Atlantic Fuels Inc permission for the importing/wholesaling of diesel in Guyana during the period November 5, 2015 to November 4, 2025 – a total of 10 years.
Permission was also granted to Atlantic Fuels Inc subject to the conditions of its licence, for the storage of diesel for the purpose of import/wholesale at 16 Sublot ‘A,’ Mudlot, Kingston, Georgetown.