[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana government has confirmed that Head of State, Donald Ramotar used the private Jet services of alleged smuggler, Khamraj Lall for three state visits.
Lall, the owner of the Jet was arrested last week in Puerto Rico with over US$620,000 hidden inside the Jet.
The government in a statement noted that the services of Exec Jet Club Guyana which operates out of the Kaylee Service Station, East Bank Demerara, were procured on three occasions by the Government to transport delegations led by President Donald Ramotar to official State business overseas.
The statement noted that on all such occasions, payments were rendered for the charter of an aircraft operated by the Exec Jet Club, Guyana.
Upon his arrest, Lall told US Customs and Border agents that he was just stopping to refuel and that he was headed directly to Georgetown. The agents told him about the requirement to declare any cash. Lall and his father, who was also on board declared US$5, 000 and the other pilot declared US$60.
Later, regular inspection of the aircraft found that there were discrepancies with maintenance in violation of aircraft regulations. The aircraft was then grounded and Lall said he would fly in his mechanic into San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital to have the problems rectified.
The next morning, Lall told the agents the problems were rectified and he was ready to fly out. At this point, he was again told of the need to declare currency; at this point Lall declared that he had US$7, 000. That’s $2, 000 more than what he declared the night before.
His father and the co-pilot declared the same amounts like they did the first time.
Agents checked the aircraft and found a bundle of currency wrapped in plastic garbage bags and a blanket. This was found under the exit row seat. When he was approached by agents, Lall said that the money was his and that it amounted to US$150, 000 and that he had actually forgotten that he had the money there and that is why he did not declare it.
Agents continued to search the aircraft and then found a black suitcase in a compartment next to the engines. Inside the suitcase were several plastic garbage bags with bundles of cash totaling US$470, 000.
Again, Lall said the money was his and were proceeds from his business. He told agents that his father and the co-pilot had nothing to do with the money.
As a result, Lall will this Monday (December 01) face two charges; one relating to his failure to declare the cash and the other for smuggling bulk cash.
Lall claims to have migrated from Guyana to the United States 30 years ago and became qualified in engineering and subsequently acquired his pilot licence and operated a range of businesses, including a gas station, a limousine service and the jet service for which he was allowed to build a private hangar at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.