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BREAKING: Permanent Secretary busted with cash from contract kickbacks

The Guyana Police Force Major Crimes Unit on Thursday arrested the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs for the offence of demanding money by menace.

Hicks, 42 years old of 811 Onderneeming, West Bank Demerara (WBD) was arrested at her Quamina and Thomas Streets, South Cummingsburg Office.

A businessman who provides security to all locations of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs reported to the police that the Permanent Secretary was demanding monies from him before she signed off on his invoices for the services provided.

According to the businessman, Permanent Secretary Hicks informed him that she helped his (now deceased) father secure the contract with the understanding that she be paid $200,000 a month.

The businessman said he has been paying the money since July but became tired and decided to report the matter to the police.

The businessman said after his father died and he took over the operations, the Permanent Secretary reportedly told him that in order for him to continue having the contracts and for her to keep it enforced, the monies have to be paid.

On Thursday, a sting operation was put in place and marked notes with serial numbers were handed over to the Permanent Secretary by the contractor in her office.

The moment that she collected the money in an envelope, a plainclothes detective walked into her office, identified himself, told her about the operation, told her of the alleged offence she committed and then arrested her.

At the time of her arrest, Permanent Secretary Hicks was reportedly in possession of the envelope with the marked money.

President Irfaan Ali and recently Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo have gone on record as stating that corrupt public officials will be fired and dealt with according to the law.