News

James Bond, businessmen charged with conspiracy to defraud over sale of State lands

Four persons who are fingered in a land scandal were moments ago hauled before a City Magistrate. The charges are in relation to the sale of State land at Peter’s Hall, East Bank of Demerara (EBD).

Those charged are, People National Congress Reform(PNC/R) member and Attorney-at-law, James Bond; former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL),  Colvin Heath London; Director of A-Z Pharmaceuticals Medical Supplies and Equipment Inc, Eddie Doolal; and the Principal of ARKEN Group Inc. Jermaine Richmond.

Three appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Heath-London was charged in absentia since he is out of the jurisdiction

The first charge stated that London and Bond between August 1, 2017, and November 30, 2020, at Georgetown, conspired together and with others to defraud the NICIL and its sole shareholders, the Government of Guyana of property interest in land, namely the grant of a lease of land known as Plot A17, A18, A19 Plantation Peters Hall, East Bank Demerara, owned by the said NICIL without the necessary board and cabinet approval to do same and for the purposes other than that of NICIL.

It was further alleged that London, Bond, and Doolall between August 1, 2017, and November 30, 2020, at Georgetown, conspired together and with others to defraud NICIL and its sole shareholders, the Government of Guyana of property interest in land, namely the grant of a lease of land known as Plot A7, A8, A20 Plantation Peters Hall, East Bank Demerara, owned by the said NICIL without the necessary board and cabinet approval to do same and for the purposes other than that of NICIL.

The last charge stated that London, Bond, and Richmond between August 1, 2017, and November 30, 2020, at Georgetown, conspired together and with others to defraud the NICIL and its sole shareholders, the Government of Guyana of property interest in land, namely the grant of a  lease of land known as plot A1, A2, A3, A4 Plantation Peters Hall, East Bank, Demerara, owned by the said NICIL without the necessary board and cabinet approval to do same and for the purposes other than that of NICIL.

They were not required to plead to the indictable charges after they were read to them.

Bond was released on bail in the sum of $150,000, while the others were released on $100,000 bail each. They return to court on April 19.

According to reports, Doolal and another leased 15 acres of prime land from NICIL. The land was then transferred at a price to a Chinese National, Jianfen Yu. It was reported that in one of the land deals, the principal of ARKEN Group Inc., Richmond, leased from NICIL 20.3 acres of land at Peter’s Hall on May 9, 2018, for 20 years at US$16,224 per year.

Reports indicate that Bond received a payment from Trinidad logistics company, Lennox Petroleum, for the sale of 10 acres of the land leased to ARKEN Group Inc. ARKEN  then turn around and sold the other 10 acres to local logistics company GLASS Holdings Inc. on October 10, 2019.

Shortly after the PPP/C took Government, Bond and the others were called in for questioning by the Police after a significant number of irregularities were discovered with the sale of the State lands.