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Former Land Commissioner Trevor Benn slapped with another misconduct charge

Another charge of misconduct in public office was this morning read to former Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Trevor Benn. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

Benn was not required to plead to the indictable charge. He was released on $100,000 and instructed to make his next court appearance on June 18, 2021.

The charge stated that between October 1, 2018, and August 31, 2020, at Guyana Lands and Survey Commission, Georgetown, while being a public officer, that is to say, the Commissioner of Guyana Lands and Survey Commission, he wilfully misconducted himself by executing a sale of a parcel of land held under Transport No.336 of 1925, that portion known as Area C being a portion of Track B, Plantation Le Repentir containing an area of 1.356 acres and being shown, laid down and defined on a sketch plan by Shaquile Mayer, Sworn Land Surveyor dated September 3, 2015.

The charge further stated that Benn and caused Cevons Waste Management Inc. to pay the sum of $80M to Guyana Lands and Survey Commission for the said land, knowing that at the time he did not have the authority to sell the said lands, wilful misconduct amounting to a breach of the public trust, without any excuse or reasonable justification.

On April 21, last Benn appeared before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Marcus-Issacs who read a similar charge to him.

The charge stated that between December 1, 2018, and August 31, August 31, 2019, at Guyana Lands and Survey Commission, Georgetown, while being a public officer, Benn wilfully misconduct himself by executing a sale of two parcels of land known as Parcel 4725 being a mutation of Parcel 4716 L.R.B No. XXX and Parcel 4805 being the mutation of former Parcel 4779, all being a portion of Middle Walk, Plantation Ruimveldt and causing Wilfred Brandsford to pay the sum of $13.5M to GL&SC for the said lands, knowing at the time he did not have the authority to sell the said land lands and knowing the said plot A had been earlier valued at the sum of $60.8M, the said wilful misconduct amounting to a breach of the public’s trust, without any excuse or reasonable justification.

Brandsford is the owner of Car Care Enterprise.

Meanwhile, On March 12, last, 53-year-old Benn made his first court appearance before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly who read a charge of misconduct in public office to him. Benn was not required to plead to the indictable charge. He was released on $200,000 bail.

That charge concerns the leasing of six acres of land at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD) to Janico Vide Engineering Limited.

The charge stated that between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2020, at GL&SC, Georgetown, while being a public officer, he wilfully misconducted himself by causing $27 million to be paid by Janico Vide Industrial Engineering Limited for the lease of six acres of land at Plantation Ogle, ECD, knowing at the time GL&SC did not have the authority to lease any lands.

The charge further stated that he granted a provisional lease on March 27, 2020, to Janico Vide Industrial Engineering Limited without any description and that his wilful misconduct amounted to a breach of the public’s trust, without any excuse reasonable or justification.

According to reports, during the period mentioned Benn who was Commissioner of GL&SC at the time allegedly leased six acres of State lands located at Ogle, East Coast Demerara. The lands valued at $27M million belonged to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and not GL&SC.

Benn was appointed boss of GL&SC in 2016 by the David Granger administration and was granted presidential powers related to the renting and granting of leases, licenses, and permission of occupancy of all public lands. However, when President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s administration took office in August 2020, Benn was stripped of those powers and was later fired on February 4, 2021.