SARA continues political witch-hunting

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Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII), the corporate owners of the property which houses the Times Media Group – including Guyana Times newspaper – at Ruimveldt, Georgetown, has called out the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) for harassment.

This is in response to the announcement made by SARA on Friday that it has filed proceedings in the High Court seeking Civil Recovery Orders against QAII. The claim is made under the State Assets Recovery Act 2017 and is for the recovery of GY$2,701,619,960.

However, QAII in a stinging response on Saturday said that SARA has returned to its practice of political harassment; this time by seeking to directly intimidate QAII.

On August 22, a notice was received by the company that SARA is seeking to recover the difference between an outside valuation of the Sanata property and the valuation of the official Government valuation entity at the point of sale.

State of the complex on acquisition. At the time of acquisition, the entire complex was in a state of disrepair: fences had fallen apart, drains were blocked, roads were inaccessible, vegetation was overgrown, garbage was prevalent, equipment and installations were vandalised beyond repair, the buildings were infested with termites and unfit for occupation, there was also flooding in some sections despite it being the dry season

In June 2018, SOCU had charged former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former Chairman of NICIL, Winston Brassington in relation to the same transaction. At that time, Guyana Times had received a number of threats to stop publishing news items which are critical of the Administration.

SARA continues to press ahead with this political witch-hunting, despite being fully aware that the Act has been challenged in the court.

The property was acquired by QAII in a fully transparent manner more than a decade ago, and this was fully ventilated in the press. Billions of dollars have been invested to develop this property and as such, QAII will vigorously defend any issues relating to the transaction.

QAII paid in excess of half a billion dollars for the complex, which has since proven to be one of the more successful privatisation ventures in recent times.