Owner of real estate agency arrested for land fraud  

37-year-old Dwayne Gentle, the owner of DAG Realty and a former staffer of the High Court registry has been arrested by the Police in connection with an investigation into land fraud.

The Big Smith News Watch was reliably informed that Rohit Lall, 60, an electrical engineer of Eccles Old Road East Bank Demerara (EBD) is the transported owner of two plots of land at Lot B and C Eccles, by way of transport #2491/2006.

On March 3, 2020, Lall visited the Eccles/Ramsburg Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to pay rates and taxes when he learned that his properties were transferred to Mohamed Wazir whose last known address is Herstelling, EBD by way of transport #1532/2017.

Lall was further informed that the transport was passed via a High Court order granted by Justice Jainarayan Singh on September 25, 2008,  pursuant to a court action filed by Wazir against him,  Janet Cassou, Gobin Dwarka, Demerara Company Limited, and Texaco West Indies Limited.  As investigations into the matter continue, the Police made checks at Wazir’s last known address but found out that he is no longer residing there.

According to information, Gentle took the transport in Wazir’s name along with a photocopy of Wazir’s identification card to the Eccles Ramsburg NDC to effect a name change.

Gentle told the Police ranks that the transport and copy of the identification card were given to him by one “Max”. Gentle has claimed that although he knows “Max” since 2009, he does not know his correct name or how he can be contacted.

He further told Police that he went to the Deeds Registry and verified the transport was genuine before taking it to the NDC. In a court order dated September 25, 2008, former High Court Judge Singh ordered that Lots B and C Eccles, EBD be transferred to Wazir.

The judge further ordered that Wazir is to enjoy and be at liberty to apply for and uplift relevant compliance on behalf of Lall from the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Mayor and City Council to effect the passing of transport # 2491  of 2006

In the meantime, Lall has filed a High Court action against the parties in an effort to regain ownership of the property. Police investigations are ongoing in the matter.

Back in 2010, while he was a clerk at the High Court, Gentle of Forshaw Street, Queenstown, Georgetown was charged and released on bail for allegedly forging divorce papers. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The charge read that between May 1 and June 62008, in Georgetown, with intent to defraud, he forged a divorce absolute in favour of Paul and Joanne Marshall to show that they had divorced,  knowing same to be forge.

Then, the Police prosecutor had raised serious objections to Gentle being released on bail on the ground that he was a person with authority to certify judicial documents.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in a recent ruling in a land fraud case from Guyana urged the Government to urgently consider reforming the Deeds Registry Act.

In doing so, the CCJ reasoned that the approaches to the law and the outcome of the case did not seem satisfactory or just. The regional court suggested that there may be other legal approaches that could have resulted in different outcomes and explored those possibilities.

Against this backdrop, the CCJ said that the legislature should review and amend the Deeds Registry Act to refine or improve the law to meet the needs of current land law realities in Guyana. One of the CCJ Judges, Peter Jamadar noted the Deeds Registry Act needs to be reviewed and an assessment made whether it passes constitutional muster in Guyana, and if not, what modifications are required to do so, explaining why this should be done.