…commits to hiring more investigators to address problem
The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is currently awaiting legal advice on several cases stemming from the various forensic audits conducted at State agencies before steps are taken to have offenders placed before the courts.
This was revealed by Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan earlier today during a press conference with media operatives.
The Minister told reporters that SOCU has wrapped up many of its investigations on the forensic audit reports that were handed to it and has sent those files for legal advice.
“A lot of them have already gone to the legal advisors as far as I am informed and it is for the legal advisors of the DPP to take it from there. If the DPP or legal advisors asks for further statements to be taken then that probably will have to be done but as far as I am aware a number are on the desks of the legal advisors,” he said.
On this note, the Public Security Minister pointed out that he is satisfied with the work of SOCU, but in the same breath noted that there is room for improvement such as boosting the capacity of the agency.
“I think they need lots more fraud investigators and financial investigators. We are in the process of getting a couple more, quality policemen there but it is not easy. In any event, the amounts of work given to them especially based on the forensic audits have now been something that is overwhelming in a sense. Too many investigations are being carried out, but they are trying as best as possible.”
Following its assumption to office back in 2015, the APNU+AFC Coalition had launched a series of forensic audits into several state agencies, with the intent of identifying malpractices under the previous regime.
To this end, those audit reports were handed over the SOCU branch of the Guyana Police Force for probing.
Only last month, several prominent former government officials including former President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo were brought in for questioning by SOCU as it relates to claims that they benefited from obtaining prime real estate lands in the Pradoville 2 Housing Schemes below market value at the time.
Some former government officials have rubbished however, claims to that nature and noted that the lands were valued around the prevailing prices for lands within the surrounding proximity of the outlined area.
They had posited that the move was a witch-hunting exercise aimed at distracting the populace from the incumbent administration’s lackluster performance in governance and economic development.