Yet another adjournment has been granted to former accountant at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Peter Ramcharran, who was slated to lead his defence since October 31.

This is in relation to five charges of falsification of accounts which Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan ruled that she found sufficient evidence against him.

This morning when the matter was called, the Magistrate asked Ramcharran if he was ready to lead his defence and his lawyer, Sase Gunraj, responded in the negative.

The lawyer added that his client will be calling forensic auditor, Nigel Hinds and external auditor, Leslie Versammy to testify on his behalf. However, the lawyer added that the witnesses are unavailable to attend court on today’s date.

The Magistrate, after listening to the lawyer, told the court that she will grant one final date for the witness to be present in court. If they are absent, the court would go ahead with the matter. Hence, she adjourned the matter until December 5.

Ramcharran was slapped with 39 fraud charges for alleged breaches within GRDB.

The Chief Magistrate is dealing with 22 of the matters, while Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus will is presiding over the 17 charges of keeping fraudulent accounts.

Ramcharran, 39, of Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, was charged in March 2019 after being deported from Canada where he was fighting extradition to Guyana for over two years.

Particulars of the first five charges alleged that between the years 2015 and 2011, Ramcharran while being the accountant of GRDB, failed to enter some $414M in the GRDB ledger.

Ramcharran was slapped with 17 charges which alleged that he, along with former General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Jagnarine Singh and his deputy, Madanlall Ramraj, omitted entries into the company ledger.

The charges alleged that Ramcharran failed to enter true entries of over $4.2M into the company’s ledger, knowing that it was contrary to standard operating procedures between 2011 and 2012, at the company’s Lot 16-17 Cowan Street, Kingston head office.

The last 17 charges alleged that Ramcharran, along with Singh and Ramraj, fraudulently took $5.1M or used the sum for their own use and benefit, or any use and purpose other than that of the GRDB.

The matters are being prosecuted by Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) Prosecutor, Patrice Henry.

According to information, from about 2009 to 2015, Guyana, under the administrations of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, had entered into a multi-billion-dollar oil-for-rice arrangement where GRDB was clearing out for farmers.

However, millions of dollars of those monies were reportedly siphoned off via third-party arrangements, including rental of ships and other sweetheart deals for a few millers.


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