The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Sharon Hicks was on Friday charged with corrupt transaction. She appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
The 42-year-old woman denied the charge which stated that on October 7, 2021, at the 251-252 Thomas and Quamina Streets, Georgetown, headquarters of the ministry, being an agent employed by the Government, she obtained $200,000 from Heramainie Chintamanie as an inducement or reward for processing the payment request of the said Chintamanie for security services provided, an act in relation to her principal’s affairs.
The woman who was represented by Attorney-at-Law Sase Gunraj was released on $100,000 bail. She was also instructed to make her next court appearance on December 20, 2021, for statements. A conditionality of bail is that she lodges her passport with the court pending the hearing and determination of her trial.
According to reports, Police received a complaint from Chintamanie, a businessman, and set up a sting operation using marked money. The money was then given to the businessman who then paid the Permanent Secretary $200,000 to ensure that his security firm continues to get contracts from the ministry.
Soon after the money was handed over, Hicks was arrested and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Eve Leary, Georgetown where she was questioned.
Since then, she was sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recently advised that Hicks be charged. Hicks was appointed as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs in October 2021.