Guyana Politics: Canada blocks PPP’s Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali’s entry to Canada – Meetings cancelled

Canada blocks Ifraan – …raises questions over 19 criminal charges – Pradoville 2 Scheme

Guyana Chronicle – 30 January 2019

Irfaan Ali

The presidential ambitions of Irfaan Ali has hit a snag with the Government of Canada blocking his travel to that country owing to the 19 criminal charges against him for his role in the sale of lands in the Pradoville 2 Scheme.

This development is viewed as a major blow to Ali whose controversial selection as the party’s candidate was roundly condemned by rank and file members. Ali was scheduled to travel to Canada for a round of engagements commencing from today (Wednesday 30. January 2019. He was to be accompanied by Canadian citizen, Gail Teixeira.          

In a release, Ali said he has noted what he described as “mischief being peddled on the social media in relation to my visit to Canada.” According to him as was publicised, “I have a series of meetings and events with the Diaspora planned in Toronto, Canada. I was scheduled to leave Guyana, on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 10:20am, via Caribbean Airlines: BW 0600 flight.”

Ali said on Monday, January 28, 2019, at 4:05pm, he received a correspondence from the High Commission of Canada, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, advising him of a report in relation to the 19 charges by SOCU. “In the correspondence, they advised me not to travel and gave 30 days to respond to the correspondence,” Ali’s statement read.
According to him contrary to social media reports, “I am in possession of a valid passport and visa to Canada.

I have also since contacted the Canadian High Commissioner, in Georgetown, Guyana who is looking into the matter. As I await the outcome, I assure all Guyanese in the Diaspora of my utmost respect and regard for them and the circumstances surrounding my travel to Canada at this time is beyond my control,” Ali said.

Charges by SOCU
Back in November last year Ali was slapped with 19 charges for alleged conspiracy to defraud the state of some $174M for his role in the notorious Pradoville land-sale scandal. He had appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and was released on self-bail, claiming that the charges “…have made me stronger.” Ali, 38, of Sea-spray, Leonora, West Coast Demerara, was not required to plead to the indictable charges.
The charges read that between the year 2010 and 2015, Ali conspired with persons unknown to defraud the Government of Guyana when he acted recklessly in presenting the value of 19 plots of state land situated at Plantation Sparendaam and Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara and sold the said lands at a grossly undervalued price without first obtaining a valuation to determine the true value of the lands.

Ali is accused of defrauding the state of over $174M after selling the land at an undervalued price. The former minister of housing is accused of selling the lands to former President Bharrat Jagdeo; former Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon; and former ministers Priya Manickchand, Dr. Jennifer Westford, Robert Persaud and Clement Rohee; Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack, and former army head Gary Best and Fortune Developers Inc., Guyana.

He also sold lands at the locations to former General Manager of the Guyana Gold Board and daughter of former President Donald Ramotar, Lisa Ramotar; former President of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo; the son of former Labour Minister Dr Nanda Gopaul, Dr Ghansham Singh; former Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Chief Executive Officer Rajendra Singh; former president of the Caribbean Development Bank, Compton Bourne; Andrew Bishop, former Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission; former Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) Shaik Baksh, Safraaz Khan and George Hallaq.

Presidential candidacy
Two weeks ago Ali was chosen as the PPP’s presidential candidate beating out the likes of Anil Nandlall, Teixeira, Dr Frank Anthony and Dr Vindyha Persaud. Immediately upon the announcement, social media exploded with an avalanche of criticisms.

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  • Linda  On 01/31/2019 at 1:25 pm

    This guy feels that because he has a Visa and valid passport that he has the right to travel to Canada? Has he not taken into consideration the 19 charges pending against him? Does he think that a reputable country would allow him to enter given the charges pending against him? There is no mischief going on Mr. Ali. The only mischief is what you’ve created for yourself. One has to wonder the level of intelligence of this man that Jagdeo has chosen to lead Guyana. Or is it all part of his Master Plan.?????

    • Emanuel  On 02/01/2019 at 2:19 am

      Shame on Ali and shame on Jagdeo. Big embarrassment to Guyana.
      These vipers should be removed from where people reside. Trap them and relocate them in the deep rain forest.
      Put them where hungry alligators are.

  • Kman  On 03/11/2019 at 2:05 pm

    I hope Canada will block da Benjamin, aka Bibi from entering Canada also.

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