Employees fired as investigation launched into Guyana Gold Board scam

DPI Guyana, Friday, November 10, 2017

The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has fired two of its longstanding employees allegedly involved in some racket of financial irregularities, even as an internal investigation is ongoing.

Gabriel (GHK) Lall, Chairman of the Guyana Gold Board.

While the identities of the employees have not been disclosed, the Guyana Gold Board said on Friday that their service to the organisation spans several decades.

According to Chairman Gabriel (GHK) Lall, the board unearthed a situation revealing some improprieties just over a month ago, which had to be quickly addressed.

“Without going into any detail, let me say that the documentation is thorough, the evidence is persuasive and comprehensive… in addition to that, I repeat the investigation is ongoing and we do not know where it will lead even though we have our arms around it to a very satisfactory extent,” the chairman told reporters at a press conference.

The Gold Board, because of the nature of its operations, is always in a state of heightened alert to such incidence, the chairman said.  And although the system is not 100 percent safe, some amount of breakthrough was made which sparked the investigation.

General Manager (ag) Eondrene Thompson said it turns out that it could probably be a switch in the client’s assay. While that was rectified, the board decided to comb the system and found a number of inconsistencies.

“We found a situation where one client’s assay is in his name. He usually has a high percentage and the results came back as a lower payout factor. When that result came back it was lower than his usual, its contrary to his profile. So, we decided to investigate it.”

Following the discovery of the inconsistencies, the Gold Board said it was forced to take its investigation as far back as January one of this year. According to the General Manager, it was more of a breach of policy and it includes millions of Guyana dollars.

Meanwhile, the chairman said the investigation is part of the Board’s enhanced due diligence efforts aimed at scrutinising all activities and all areas relative to its operations.

Eondrene Thompson, GGB General Manager (ag).

In keeping with decisions made at a meeting of the Board of Directors earlier this week several objectives were finalised and approved. These included continuing the exercise to “drill down and expose” employees whose actions interfere with the GGB’s objectives; to insist upon certain minimum operational and ethical standards and to build stakeholders’ confidence and trust.

Such stakeholders include public customers, regulatory agencies, and local and overseas partners.

“GGB’s board and senior management take the opportunity to reassure miners that their assay accounts have not been compromised,” Lall said.

Further, the board and senior management agreed that no effort will be spared to ferret out those parties who through either negligence, or willful ignorance, or gross and unacceptable improprieties represent a threat to the enhancement goals and long-term interests of the GGB.

It was emphasised that everyone needed to be clear that those found to be deficient in principles and the highest standards of probity will be dealt with severely after due process is observed.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

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