Former General Manager (GM) of the Guyana Oil Company (GUYOIL), Trevor Bassoo says that his resignation is unrelated to the alleged fuel scandal currently gripping the company. Several days ago, the Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh called in the Auditor General to probe allegations of kickbacks in the procurement process at the company.
Media reports have said Aaron Realty Incorporated (ARI) claimed it is left with a large quantity of fuel on hand after senior GUYOIL officials allegedly made commitments to purchase the fuel but backed out. The company claims to have evidence of the transaction implicating top company officials.
See full statement from Bassoo:
In response to the significant number of inaccurate reports in the public domain I am taking this opportunity to clarify the events that led to my resignation , and to demonstrate that they were in no way connected to the matter of fuel imported by Aaron Royalty Inc and alleged kickbacks related to that transaction.
On the night of Wednesday, April 14 at 20:24 pm I emailed the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Guyana Oil Company (GUYOIL) to advise that representatives of Aaron Royalty Inc. reached out to me expressing their dissatisfaction with specific officers of GUYOIL, and of their intention to go to the media to expose corruption. In that email (a copy of which could be obtained), I also advised that I suggested to the Aaron representatives that they should reach out to GUYOIL BOD first to seek redress. I forwarded to the BOD the email that I had received from Aaron representatives (a copy of this email could also be obtained).
On the morning of the following day, Thursday, April 15 I was called to the Charlotte Street office of the Chairman of the GUYOIL BOD, Mr. Paul Cheong, where he handed me a letter sending me on Administrative Leave. The letter further stated that the BOD will conduct a performance review of my tenure as General manager. He informed me that the Company Secretary, Shawn Persaud, will be acting as General Manager in the interim (a copy of this email could also be obtained).
In the afternoon of the following day, Friday April 16, I was invited to a meeting with the BOD to discuss my job performance. During the meeting specifics of my actual performance were not discussed, however, I was asked to relate the matters that are of concern to me and I took the opportunity to raise with the BOD, matters that I felt required the full Board’s attention.
At the same meeting, I indicated to the BOD my intention to submit my resignation in light of the recent work environment. On the evening of Monday, April 19, I tendered my resignation by email.
The next morning, Tuesday, April 20 at 10:17h the Company Secretary, who was also at the time, General Manager (acting) forwarded by email two scanned documents, one of which was a letter signed by the Chairman, Paul Cheong, accepting my resignation and rescinding the letter directing me to proceed on Administrative Leave.
It was only after this sequence of events that stories began circulating on social media later on Tuesday, April 20. Someone, apparently deliberately, conflated the issues of my discussions with the Chairman and the BOD and the emerging matter of the dispute between Aaron Royalty Inc and GUYOIL, resulting from Aaron’s arrangements with specific officials of GUYOIL.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must mention that representatives of Aaron had reached out to me before April 14 and at that time I had advised them to try and resolve the matter with the officers who had engaged them to supply fuel to GUYOIL.
I reiterate that at no time did I negotiate any fuel purchases with Aaron Royalty and that my issues with the BOD and Chairman Paul Cheong never included the issue of this fuel purchase.