GWI working to recover monies after fraud at local bank

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Mr. Shaik Baksh said the utility company is working to recoup its credit at a local commercial bank, following an alleged fraud that resulted in the debit of its account of some $29.8 million.

Mr. Baksh was addressing members of the media on Thursday, at the company’s Vlissengen road headquarters. 

“We have written to the bank and we are moving to recover our monies and also the police were called into this matter and they are doing their investigations on the criminal side, and we are working to get back our monies,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated, Mr. Shaik Baksh

The CEO debunked reports circulating in the media that there is a $100 million fraud at GWI.  He explained that a fraud was committed at the bank using forged wire transfers payable to persons residing overseas. The amount of $17,489,417 was debited on March 16 and $12,327,515 on March 24.

Meanwhile, a forensic audit is currently underway into suspicious activities relating to the Vlissingen Road/New Town water and pipe laying project and the construction of a building in Region Five.

The contractor for the Vlissingen Road/New Town project received 93 per cent of the total sum of $123 million for the project; however, only 11.2 per cent of the works were completed. The CEO said GWI is working to recover its monies.

“Eighty-seven million was paid to the contractor above the work that he did and we have that contractor in the court right now. We took him to court late last year and we are trying to get back our monies,” he said.

The contract sum for the building in Region Five was $19.7 million and to date, the expenditure is $40.5 million. The building is only 80 per cent complete.

“To complete that building will now cost us another $20 million. Its incomplete, only 80 per cent completed,” the CEO said.  He said the sums were approved by the then top management of the GWI. Further, an investigation is being conducted into some $1.8 billion spent on SeaQuest, a chemical used to treat water. The sum was spent over a four-year period.

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