A Deputy Commander and an Assistant Superintendent of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were yesterday charged for falsifying over $1million in meals payment for riot ranks.
Deputy Commander of 4B, Lorraine Saul, and Officer-in-Charge at the Police Finance Department (ag.), Assistant Superintendent, Kurt Smith, were yesterday officially charged for fraud. Smith appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. However, Saul is said to be on leave and presently out of the jurisdiction. She did not appear in court.
Saul and Smith were slapped with two joint conspiracies to commit a felony charges, and Saul was charged additionally for two counts of falsification of accounts.
The first charge alleged that between December 18, 2020 and December 28, 2020, at Georgetown, while being officers of the GPF, Saul and Smith conspired with each other and other persons to falsify a payment of $1,350,000 to show that meals were supplied to ranks of the Riot Unit training between December 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020.
The second charge alleged that the duo, between December 18, 2020 and December 28, 2020 at Georgetown, while being officers of the GPF, they conspired with each other and others to falsify the payment of $465,000 to show that meals were supplied to ranks working at the Georgetown Prison between December 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020.
Attorney-at-law Mark Waldron represented Smith. Waldron told the court that his client was not aware of what he was signing but that it was brought to him, by another rank, for him to sign.
However, Special Organised Crime Unit (S.O.C.U) Prosecutor, Patrice Henry, told the court that Smith was charged because even though he is an Assistant Superintendent and acting as the officer-in-charge at the Police Finance Department, the sum of money had to be approved first before signing off.
Smith was not required to plead to the indictable charges and Chief Magistrate McLennan granted him $100,000 bail on each charge. The matter was adjourned to May 14, 2021.
According to the police, Saul was the officer-in-charge of the Brickdam Police Station’s Other Ranks Mess before she was moved. The Mess provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner to ranks stationed at various stations and locations within Regional Division 4A.
According to the facts of the charges, between December 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020, Saul allegedly inflated several accounts for meals provided by the Mess for reimbursement at the Police Finance Department.
Saul reportedly prepared an account dated December 18, 2020 and petty contract dated December 18, 2020, for meals allegedly supplied to ranks that performed duties at ‘A’ Division Riot Unit Training between December 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020 to the amount of $ 1,350,000 when there was no such training done for that period.
It is alleged that she also prepared another account and petty contract with the same dates for meals supplied to ranks that performed fixed point duties at the Georgetown Prison, between December 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020 to the amount of $ 648,000. On that account, Saul reportedly inflated the number of ranks and number of meals in the sum of $465,000.
Smith was charged for allegedly conspiring with Saul to defraud and authorise the payments when there was no training for the period mentioned on the account, therefore, no feeding of the ranks at the Georgetown Prison for the same period.
The matter was reported and an investigation was launched by SOCU. Smith and Saul were subsequently charged.
Meanwhile, on March 26, 2021 former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kevin Adonis of 95 Stewartville, West Bank Demerara, and three other members of the GPF, made their first court appearance after they were slapped with a $19M fraud charge.
Also charged were: Rawle Haynes of Hydronie, East Bank Essequibo; Jermaine Fraser of 4116 Phase One West Minster, West Bank Demerara, and Michael Corbin of 315 First Avenue, La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara. The four men appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
Fraser, Haynes, Corbin, and Adonis were slapped with a joint charge, while Corbin and Haynes were slapped with individual charges. They were not required to plead to the indictable charges after they were read to them.
According to the facts of the charge, the missing $19,030,767 was allocated for officers who performed extra duties. However, there are documents that show that those officers signed and received the monies, but it was later revealed that the officers never received the monies.
The matter was reported and an investigation was launched. The four men were subsequently charged.
Corbin was placed on $250,000 bail, Haynes was placed on $200,000 bail, while Adonis and Fraser were placed on $150,000 bail each. The men yesterday made their second court appearance.
It was also reported that last year, Corbin and Fraser were slapped with 21 fraud charges, which amounted to a total sum of $11,385,000. They had appeared before Principal Magistrate, Faith McGusty, in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and were placed on $250,000 bail each.
It is alleged that the duo, on April 4, 2019, at Eve Leary, Georgetown, while being employed as a clerk or servant at the GPF’s Finance Office, with intent to defraud, they willfully made false entries into the accounts of their employer.