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Indian National in Court for US$124K Theft

first_imgThe case against Maxx Rental Incorporated, a car rental company manager and its chief accountant, Sanju Jose Thayankeril, an Indian national, and Lorena Reeves, a Liberian accused of US$124,730.75 theft started last week at Criminal Court ‘C’ in Monrovia.Both Thayankeril and Reeves have pleaded not guilty to the multiple-count indictment brought against them by the government when they were first arraigned in court.The parties (prosecution and defense teams) have already concluded with their final legal arguments into the matter and are therefore waiting for Judge Yussif Kaba to declare them either guilty or not.At last week’s hearing, Judge Kaba did not give a definite time when he would render his judgment.Thayankeril and Ms Reeves will serve prison terms between five to ten years and made to pay back the money, if found guilty.Between July 2015 and April 2016, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Emmanuel Togba, claimed that the defendants (Thayankeril and Reeves) used their respective positions to design a criminal scheme where they successfully prepared a fictitious vehicle rental request purporting same to be emanating from one of the company’s clients, the World Food Program (WFP).They were alleged to have used the request to raise a payment voucher for the US$124,730.75 and fraudulently transferred the money from the Maxx Rental bank account into their personal savings account for the period between July 2015 up to and including April 2016.Their alleged withdrawal was intended to ensure that the rental service was provided to the WFP, while in reality the UN entity made no such request, for which the defendants en-cashed the check and withdrew the money for their personal use and benefits.Before the withdrawal, Togba claimed that in June 2015, Thayankeril and his co-defendant (Reeves) encouraged him to join the company and served as its chief executive officer.When the deal was sealed, Togba alleged that the defendants issued to him a 35 percent share in the company and the CEO post, on condition that he made available the collateral to secure a loan from the GT Bank.It was based upon “the encouraging post (CEO),” that Togba allegedly used his seven bed-room story building, situated at the ELWA Rehab Road in Paynesville, as collateral for an amount of US$150,000 in the name of Maxx Rental Incorporated to the bank.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GECOM hopes to advise President “soon” on elections

first_img…Commissioners tight-lipped on meeting with Chair…another meeting set for FridayEven after meeting for a second time since the new Chairperson was appointed, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is yet to decide on how to proceed regarding elections and the ongoing House-to-House (H2H) Registration.PPP Commissioners Sase Gunraj and Bibi Shadick leaving the GECOM meeting on WednesdayGovernment Commissioners Desmond Trotman, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin in conversationPPP CommissionerRobeson BennIn fact, there was a marked reluctance to get into specifics with the press on how Wednesday’s meeting with GECOM Chairperson Retired Justice Claudette Singh transpired. People’s Progressive Party (PPP)-nominated Commissioners were tight-lipped, only commenting that a further meeting will be held on Friday.However, the Commission does hope to advise President David Granger “very soon” on their preparedness for the polls. This is according to Government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander, who noted that while discussions on the way forward have started, outstanding matters still need addressing.In response to questions about what options are open to the Commission, Alexander explained that Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield organised a presentation on different scenarios for election preparation. Alexander denied reports that the meeting went ‘horribly’ against the Government side.“There may be other methods (of sanitising the list). For instance, if we had invoked Regulation 40 the same objective would have been achieved. Regulation 40 speaks to the role of the Chief Immigration Officer and the Chief Registration Officer. It provides for the Chief Immigration Officer to provide the Chief Registration officer with information on persons who have departed the country and provides the Chief Registration Officer to determine what is done”.However, Alexander noted that given the time frame, this is no longer an option. He said that other options will be explored collectively, noting that they will be in a position to advise the President “not long from now”.It has now been over a week since the High Court ruled that H2H Registration, while constitutional, should also be tempered by the need for early elections. Her written ruling was delivered on Wednesday.In her written ruling, acting Chief Justice Roxane George reminded parties that a No-Confidence Motion was passed, and as such, the body cannot ignore this and proceed as though it’s business as usual.Previous meetingIt would not be the first time the Commission has met but failed to reach a decision on H2H Registration. Justice Singh met with both Opposition and Government-nominated Commissioners for the first time last week, but no decisions surfaced regarding the next course of action with respect to House-to-House Registration.The meeting reportedly lasted a few hours, after which PPP Commissioner Bibi Shadick told the media that the Commission’s “businesses” were discussed. She had stated that the matters will be addressed once the Chief Justice’s ruling is submitted in written form.In her ruling, Justice George had concluded that the House-to-House exercise being conducted is not unlawful or unconstitutional. However, the Court did note that it is unconstitutional for qualified persons to be removed from the list if they are not in the jurisdiction or not at their residence during the registration exercise. She further stated that only deceased persons and those otherwise disqualified under Article 159 (2) (3) or (4) are to be removed.Pointing out that the “right to vote and the right to be registered to vote are sacrosanct”, the High Court Judge said “residence requirements from citizens are no longer a qualification for registration”.Anti-corruption advocate Christopher Ram’s lawyers, who included former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran, had argued in the application that the current registration exercise will disenfranchise many Guyanese who are already on the list.Furthermore, the Chief Justice had noted that while it is not up to the Court to determine whether House-to-House should be held, it is not the only option available to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to update the list. To this end, the Court further noted that it is up to the Elections Commission to determine a way forward within the confines of the constitutional provisions.“The Court did not agree with submissions from the CEO (Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield) that House-to-House is necessary… GECOM may have to consider other options… GECOM cannot operate as in a normal elections cycle,” she said, adding that it has to take into consideration the December passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM), which has been validated by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).In fact, both Nandlall and SC Ramkarran told reporters after the decision that this aspect of the judgement is significant since it means that House-to-House is not mandatory and more importantly, not the only option for GECOM to revised the voters’ list.Anti-corruption advocate Christopher Ram’s lawyers, who included former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran, had argued in the application that the current registration exercise will disenfranchise many Guyanese who are already on the list.Furthermore, the Chief Justice had noted that while it is not up to the Court to determine whether House-to-House should be held, it is not the only option available to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to update the list. To this end, the Court further noted that it is up to the Elections Commission to determine a way forward within the confines of the constitutional provisions.“The Court did not agree with submissions from the CEO (Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield) that House-to-House is necessary… GECOM may have to consider other options… GECOM cannot operate as in a normal elections cycle,” she said, adding that it has to take into consideration the December passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM), which has been validated by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).In fact, both Nandlall and SC Ramkarran told reporters after the decision that this aspect of the judgement is significant since it means that House-to-House is not mandatory and more importantly, not the only option for GECOM to revised the voters’ list.last_img read more