Former Lands and Survey Commissioner, Trevor Benn, arrested over lands probe

Kaieteur News – Ex-Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GL&SC), Trevor Benn, was yesterday taken into police custody for the alleged illegal leasing of six acres of state lands located at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

The lands, according to sources, belonged to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), but were leased illegally by GL&SC to a company called Janico Vide Engineering Limited.
Kaieteur News has learnt that Benn was the Commissioner at the time when the transaction was made. He is currently held at the police force’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters at Eve Leary and will remain there as investigations continue today.
In fact, a senior police source said that investigators would be questioning him for some additional allegations made against him.

Speaking with this media house late last evening, another source close to the investigation highlighted that the ex-GL&SC Commissioner “is implicated in a lot of things (illegal transactions).” The individual went on to note that more files are being prepared and will be sent to investigators.

Just last month it was reported by state newspaper, the Guyana Chronicle, that Janico Industrial Engineering Limited (JIEL) had paid GL&SC some $27M for six acres of land at Ogle that seemed to be non-existent.
The monies, according to the report, was paid pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between JIEL and the then Commissioner of GL&SC on May 8, 2017.

That MoU dictated that JIEL would lease the land for 50 years and pay $200,000 per acre annually.
The report was based on a letter that was reportedly sent out by the current acting Commissioner of GL&SC, Enrique Monize, to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., seeking advice on the matter.
Monzie had reportedly written that he was unable to locate any vacant land in Ogle that is under the control GL&SC. He explained too in the letter that the lands located in Ogle belonged to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) except for those that were given to the government for the Ogle Airport and to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) for schemes.

Monzie had also pointed out in the same letter that the Ogle backlands were leased to GuySuCo as well, but are now vested in NICIL.

Nandlall had reportedly advised Monzie that if GL&SC had no authority over the lands, but still moved to lease it, then it is a criminal offence, which must be investigated by the police.

Source: kaieteurnewsonline

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