Guyana: Former Deeds Registrar fined G$4.5M on fraud charge

Kaieteur News – 12 March 2020.

Former Deeds Registrar, Azeena Baksh, who was charged in 2017 for procuring over G$4M by false pretence, was yesterday found guilty of the offence and spared jailed time, but ordered to reimburse the state G$4,534,480.

Former Deeds and Commercial Registrar, Azeena Baksh, and her attorney, Nigel Hughes.

The 33-year-old Baksh, represented by Attorney Nigel Hughes, yesterday appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Baksh was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly who handed down the ruling on the matter.   

The Magistrate ruled that there was sufficient evidence against Baksh, and as such she was found guilty of the offence.
The Magistrate ordered that the defendant pay the sum of G$1M before leaving the court yesterday and gave her three months to pay off the balance.

Particulars of the charge against her stated that while being a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) between May 1, 2014 and January 31, 2017, with intent to defraud, she caused or procured valuable securities to the sum of G$4,534,480 to be delivered to her bank of Nova Scotia account #281469; or to her own use and benefit by falsely pretending she was a contracted employee of the Deeds and Commercial Registry Authority.

It was staffers at the s Registry who called upon the Ministry of Legal Affairs to investigate their complaints of alleged financial improprieties committed by Baksh.

According to the Ministry, the Human Resource and Accounting Departments complained that as Head of the Budget Agency and sole person in authority to approve and sign off the payroll of the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority and one of the main signatories on the Authority’s Bank Account, the Registrar unlawfully paid herself gratuity.

It was alleged that she did this knowing that she was a pensionable employee, having been appointed by the JSC.
Registrar Baksh further unlawfully paid herself a higher salary than was approved by the JSC. The Ministry of Legal Affairs stated that the Deeds Registry officers disclosed that these payments started since 2014 and continued up to early 2017.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On March 12, 2020 at 6:28 am

    Unbelievable
    Should be jailed followed by community service
    Money is not “get out of jail” free card.

    In UK laws
    You must repay what you stole…
    Fined heavily also jailed followed by community service…a few MPs have recently been incarcerated for fiddling expenses.
    No if or buts
    Just is not only seem to be done
    It is done

  • C,D.S, Maharaj  On March 14, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    This is Total Fraud after all money is paid fully back to the Government, this individual should never ever hold any position in any government sector she should be on a 3 years probation and must perform manual labor cleaning up the streets of Georgetown under penitentiary supervision. When You defraud the people of Guyana there are consequences. An example must be set so others will think twice before they decide to commit fraud.. .

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