Having been able to recover over $40M for two pieces of highly undervalued land, the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) believes its position in the Pradoville Two matter has been strengthened significantly. This was recently noted by SARA official, Eric Phillips.

During an exclusive interview with Guyana Standard, Phillips pointed out that the settlements were done before SARA even prepared its cases to take before the courts.

“So this strengthens our hands and even that of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU)…There are criminal aspects to the case so they [SOCU] have to play their part,” asserted the official.

While confidentiality clauses prevent Phillips from disclosing the names of those who settled, the Guyana Standard was informed by external sources that Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack was one of them.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo; former Public Service Minister, Jennifer Westford; former Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee; and former Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand are a few of the other officials who are said to have benefited from the scheme to buy lands at Pradoville Two for chump change.

Phillips stressed that the $40M settlements also give an idea of the extent to which the lands were undervalued as they were sold for approximately $1.5M. He also noted that a few others involved in the case had expressed an interest in settling but have since pulled back due to the controversial no-confidence motion. Phillips explained that the persons who backed out are hoping that the motion is successful and that the People’s Progressive Party returns to office.

In other instances, the SARA official said that there are some who wish to settle in hopes of getting even more from those coming to invest in oil and will need real estate.

Be that as it may, he stressed that SARA is pleased with its position thus far and is confident that recovery, whether in settlements or land, will be had.


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