(Reprinted from today’s Guyana Times)
State auditor Anand Goolsarran has rubbished the claims made by Kaieteur News on Sunday that the Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII) had acquired Sanata Complex after the Government had spent US$5 million to clean it up.
Contacted for a comment on Monday, Goolsarran told Guyana Times that the report was utterly false, adding “you need to find out from Kaieteur News where they got that from”.
The Glenn Lall-owned Kaieteur News on Sunday published a litany of libellous accusations under a front-page banner headline “Govt spent US$5M to rehab Sanata, then sold it to Ramroop for US$3.4M – Audit report reveals”.
In the body of the story, however, the Kaieteur News could not point to any statement in the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) audit report by Goolsarran which even implied that the Government had paid any sum much less “US$5M to rehab Sanata”.
The report could not so state for the simple fact that it is a matter of public record that the cleanup of the Sanata Textiles Complex, inclusive of asbestos removal, was done during the lease and after the purchase when QAII took possession of the Complex and was totally funded by QAII. The reporter did not adhere to even the scantiest standard of responsible journalism.
All the audit said about the Sanata purchase, which Kaieteur ironically published, was: “By Order No. 40/2010 dated November 29, 2010, NICIL sold 18.891 acres of land and buildings and erections at the Plantation Ruimveldt (Sanata Textiles) to Queens Atlantic Investments Inc. (QAII) for $689 million (US$3.4M). The note on NICIL’s publication reads: After being advertised for sale but no proposals was received, in mid- 2007, a proposal was received from QAII for the development of the compound with a US$27 million investment plan.
The proposal was for a lease with an option to purchase. At the time of the proposal NICIL was facing continued vandalism and destruction to the property despite the presence of security. In 2007, following the requisite approvals, a lease was issued and in 2010 having satisfied all the conditions precedent to exercise the option to purchase, the property was sold at the current market valuation of the property before the improvements were implemented.”
There is nothing in this statement that Kaieteur News could possibly point to, to make its libellous claim that Government had spent any sum to clean up Sanata Complex.
Asked for a comment, Dr Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop said, “I want to state categorically that after the lease the Government of Guyana did not spend a single cent on the cleanup or any other expense that went into rehabilitating what was at that time buildings reverting back to a jungle. Glenn Lall has been peddling this misinformation and lie since 2008 when we launched the Guyana Times. At this time, I think he is struggling for relevance and should get some professional help.”
QAII believes that the report is nothing more than a vicious attack on private enterprise in Guyana in general and on the Ramroop group of companies in particular.