Jordan on $3M bail over selling GY$5B wharf to BK for only GY$20M

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Charged: Former Finance Minister, Winston Jordan

Former Finance Minister Winston Jordan was this morning hauled before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge which alleges that he sold the country’s largest wharf facility valued at GY$5B to BK Marines for only GY$20M.

It is alleged that Winston Jordan, being and performing duties of Minister of Finance and being the concerned Minister for the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), a company owned by the Government of Guyana, between Wednesday, February 26, 2020, and Friday, July 31, 2020, at Main Street, Georgetown, willfully misconducted himself by acting recklessly when he signed NICIL (Transfer of Property) Order No. 50 of 2020, which was published in the Official Gazette, transferring to and vesting to BK Marine Inc. absolutely, all buildings, erections, stellings, platforms, and further appurtenances, that is to say, Mudlots 1 & 2, F of Mudlot 3, A, B & D, situated at North Cummingsburg, Georgetown, being over 2.553 acres, by paying GY$20,260,276 for the property valued over GY$5 billion and being sold at a price that was grossly undervalued to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust and without reasonable excuse or justification.

Jordan, who was not required to plead to the indictable charge, was released on $3 million bail. His next court date is February 10, 2022. He was represented by Roysdale Forde, SC, and Attorneys-at-Law Darren Wade, Joseph Harmon, and Khemraj Ramjattan.

Earlier this month, Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) questioned Jordan in relation to a series of alleged fraudulent transactions in which he is implicated, involving public funds and state properties, estimated to value billions of Guyana dollars. 

The first transaction was in relation to the sale and vesting of the state’s largest wharf facilities located at Kingston, Georgetown, valued at approximately GY$5 billion (US$40,000,000) which was sold for a mere GY$110 million (US$500,000).

According to SOCU, the purchaser BK Marines Limited, paid only 10 per cent of this purchase price, that is GY$20 million (US$100,000) and Minister Jordan issued a vesting order passing Title to the purchaser, without the payment of any further sum of monies.

The vesting order stated that the property is being sold free from encumbrance and liabilities and no further sum of money is owed by the purchaser. Transport was subsequently issued for this property and the value strangely stated on the Transport was GY$400 million (US$2,000,000). 

Further, the agreement of sale stated that Title must only pass upon full payment of purchase price. Investigators have evidence to establish that a facility that is a mere fraction of the size of the state property under investigation, located some seven miles upriver was sold by a private company for US$17 million.

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