The probe into house lot fraud at the Regional Housing Office in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), widened when Deputy Regional Housing Officer, Safeia Razak, was taken into Police custody on Thursday at her Anna Regina home.
She is accused of unlawfully collecting monies from persons for house lots in the region.
Razak now joins her boss, Regional Housing Officer (RHO) Omesh Sasenarayan, who was also accused to issuing fake receipts for house lots in the region.
He has since been sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The arrest, of Razak, came after officials from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) conducted an audit into the books of the office and found irregularities. She was arrested following her return from vacationing overseas.
Minister within the Communities Ministry, Valarie Patterson-Yearwood, met with persons who are victims of RHO Sasenarayan’s alleged house lot fraud scheme.
“It is no secret that we have fraud at our regional office where persons went in, paid monies and by the way, persons knew they had to pay at RDC Office and I don’t understand why they allow themselves to be cajoled to pay at the regional office. They were issued with fake receipts, that matter is now in the hands of the Police, and it will not come out until we see justice. Once they are found guilty, and we know they are guilty, they will go down… orange jumpsuits for them,” Patterson-Yearwood had said.
According to reports, earlier in the year, Sasenarayan allegedly collected the sum of $50,000 as payment for a house lot but issued a personal receipt instead of an
official one, converting the money to his own use.
The woman he ‘sold’ the land to visited the Regional Democratic Office for an update on the progress of her transaction only to be told that there were no records and the receipt she had in her possession is fake.
She then ventured to office of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) at Brickdam, Georgetown and it was revealed that there were no records of the transaction.
Reports are an investigation has been launched into several other incidents of a similar nature.
Except for the CH&PA office in Georgetown and Linden, all payments for house lots must be made at the Regional Democratic Offices in Regions Two, Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
Given this report, ongoing investigations are being carried out at all those offices.