GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyana government says it has established a State Assets Recovery Unit, to go after cash and property supposedly siphoned off by agents of the previous administration.
The David Granger administration said “it would be going after stolen assets that are stashed away locally and overseas,” in an effort to ‘justly’ and recover what is rightfully the nation’s wealth and patrimony.
A government statement said that should Guyana recover a mere 10 per cent of ‘illegally stashed’ monies and properties, the figure will be a whopping GUY$600 billion (One Guyana dollar =US$0.008 cents).
But the statement noted that one important aspect to consider before initiating an asset recovery project is, as always the cost factor.
“The process of asset recovery often turns out to be quite cumbersome. It requires additional specialised personnel and the process can take many years.
“Consequently, an economic decision must first be made at the beginning, and Guyana has already gone past this step, more so, that in the build up to the May 2015 Elections,
the current Government did commit itself to this venture; now it is just a matter of keeping the resolve and honouring its word to an expectant citizenry.”.
The statement noted that Georgetown has “already learned of huge sums of money that may have been inappropriately and illegally transferred, as well as many state vehicles that were ‘nearing being handed over’ to select individuals.
“We are also learning about employees, strategically positioned just to ‘collect money’ in the form of quasi positions and salaries.”
The statement said that Guyana is expecting “good support” from various regional and international countries and agencies, and according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Guyana’s State Assets Recovery Unit would be independent but with broad powers.
“This unit will then make recommendations based on findings, after which all will be presented to the ruling administration for examination and action if necessary,” he said of the unit headed by Professor Clive Thomas.