Asphalt Plant credited material to company despite outstanding payments

– ignored Board

The final report of the probe into the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation’s Asphalt Plant has revealed that despite the disapproval of the Board and over $12 million in debt, Courtney Benn Construction Incorporated continued to obtain asphalt on credit. Two other companies also loaned material valued millions from the Plant since 2017 and 2019.

The report revealed that Courtney Benn Construction’s debt was still outstanding as of December 18, 2020.

The management took this decision, “Despite having a large sum outstanding at the point of granting additional credit and against the decision of the Board, which is to discontinue selling asphalt to this client until all monies owed are collected,” the report stated.

Further, the Asphalt Plant loaned bitumen to Suresh Jagmohan and China Railways without the Board’s approval.

No information was provided that led investigators to determine the rationale for this decision.

“We noted that the Plant lent bitumen as follows: 14th December 2017 – Suresh Jagmohan –31,970 litres to $4,219,081. February 2019 – China Railways – 89,190 litres to $13,181,430…It was noted that as of December 31, 2019, there were outstanding balances from both loans despite agreeing to return same on the following dates,” the report said.

The probe also did not determine a reason for loaning Mr.  Jagmohan bitumen, since he is the owner of an asphalt plant and could be considered a direct competitor.

Similarly, management could not provide any information for the rationale behind loaning bitumen to China Railways since there were no relationship between the plant and by extension of the Government of Guyana and the company.

The final report was officially handed over to Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill on Wednesday, by Mr. Chateram Ramdihal, Chief Executive Officer of Chateram Ramdihal Chartered Accountants, which investigated the financial and operational management of the Asphalt Plant for the period 2013 to date.

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