(Former Minister Winston Jordan receiving medical treatment. Christopher Jones photo)
The arrest of former Finance Minister Winston Jordan has been described as a witch hunt and intimidation by the People’s National Congress Reform. On Thursday, the party said it condemns the arrest of the Former Finance Minister on “what can only be described as trumped-up charges”.
Jordan had reported to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) on Thursday morning, where his presence was required. Following this, he was arrested and the police were escorting him to a police station, when he complained of feeling unwell. Jordan is now hospitalised.
SOCU in a statement released through the Public Relations arm of the Guyana Police Force said that the former minister was being questioned in relation to a series of alleged fraudulent transactions in which he is implicated. These involve “public funds and state properties, estimated to value billions of Guyana dollars,” the statement read.
On Thursday, the PNCR said it stands by Jordan “who distinguished himself as the Minister of Finance during the Coalition’s administration providing countless realistic increases to public servants and impeccable stewardship of the nations’ wealth and finances”.
The PNCR accused the government of misusing SOCU as it said the government has resorted “to Gestapo tactics and inhumane treatment against members of the Coalition administration”.
It said too that Jordan’s arrest is aimed at distracting the citizens from “its mismanagement of the nations’ finances, the Covid-19 Pandemic, economic and financial discrimination, rising costs of living, increased poverty, rising crime and a fast return of Guyana as a narcotic state”.
Meanwhile, SOCU said the former Finance Minister has been implicated in several investigations. It listed the sale and vesting of the state’s largest wharf facilities located at Kingston, Georgetown. It said that the property which was valued approximately GUY $8 billion (US$40,000,000) was sold for a mere GUY $110 million (US $500,000) to BK Marines Limited. SOCU in its release said that the purchaser paid “only 10% of this purchase price, that is GUY $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”.
SOCU in its release said too that 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 GUY $400,000,000 million (US 2,000,000.) Further, the agreement of sale stated that Title must only pass upon full payment of purchase price.”
SOCU in its statement said “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.”
SOCU said the former minister is expected to report to it again tomorrow.