Guyana: Breaking News: Fmr. Finance Minister Winston Jordan arrested by SOCU.- UPDATED

Winston Jordan

Former Finance Minister under the coalition A Partnership for National Unity, Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) administration, Winston Jordan, was today December 2, arrested by ranks of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), of the Guyana Police Force.

A source close to the investigation told this newspaper he is being detained pending a criminal investigation into allegations of ‘Misconduct in Public Office.   

Kaietuer News understands that Jordan was not arrested at his home but was rather invited by way of a telephone call, to turn himself in for questioning, to which he complied and was accompanied by an Attorney.

The arrest of the former Finance Minister, comes months after Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, announced that an investigation into the suspected ‘shady dealings’ of the former APNU+AFC government was actively being pursued.

Fmr. Finance Minister Jordan reportedly collapses while arrested by SOCU

SOCU ranks escort former Minister Jordan to Plaisance Health Centre. (Travis Chase photo)
SOCU ranks escort former Minister Jordan to Plaisance Health Centre. (Travis Chase photo)

FORMER Finance Minister Winston Jordan has found himself yet again in the hot seat as he was reportedly arrested earlier Thursday by agents of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) in connection with lands in Kingston purportedly sold to BK boss, Brian Tiwarie under the former government.

The source was not able to confirm to the Guyana Chronicle where Jordan was reportedly arrested, however, information was provided which purported to show Jordan being escorted to a health centre by the arresting agents after he apparently fell ill and required immediate medical attention.

Further details in an upcoming report.

Former Finance Minister arrested over sale of Kingston wharf

– released, then hospitalised .   – BK owner also questioned

Dec 03, 2021 – Kaieteur News – Former Finance Minister, Winston Jordan was on Thursday arrested and later released on a series of allegations relating to irregular transactions of public funds and state properties, estimated to value billions of Guyana dollars.

Kaieteur News understands that Jordan was yesterday morning invited to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) Headquarters, a branch of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Upon his arrival the allegation was put to him and he was arrested.

Yesterday around 13:35hrs while speaking with the Head of SOCU, Faizal Karimbaksh, he related to Kaieteur News that Jordan was still in custody and presently being questioned.

According to him, Jordan was arrested for misconduct in public office, while serving in public office as the Minister of Finance. “This is in relation to the vesting of State lands in 2020 in relation to the Kingston water front properties and other transactions” Karimbaksh added.

According to the police, the first transaction that he was interviewed about is in relation to the alleged sale and vesting of the state’s largest wharf facilities located at Kingston, Georgetown, valued approximately US$40,000,000 but was reportedly sold for US$500,000.

It is alleged that the purchaser BK Marines Limited, only paid US$100,000, which is 10 percent of the purchase price, and Jordan issued a vesting order passing Title to the purchaser, without the payment of any further sum of monies.

It was further stated that the vesting order stated that the property is being sold free from encumbrance and liabilities and no further sum of money is owed by the purchaser. Also, the transport was subsequently reportedly issued for the property and the value stated on the transport was US$2,000,000. It was noted however, that the agreement of sale stated that title must only pass upon full payment of purchase price.

The police also reported that investigators have evidence to establish that a facility which is a mere fraction of the size of the state property that is under investigation and located seven miles upriver was sold by a private company for US$17 million.

It was noted in the GPF’s statement that while Jordan was being escorted to Sparendaam Police Station for further questioning, he complained of feeling unwell and he was rushed to a Sparendaam Health Centre. It was disclosed that he was subsequently placed on his own recognizance and sent away with instructions to return today.

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall, had announced that legal action will be taken against Jordan and others. The legal proceedings are grounded in the contention that Jordan allegedly played primary roles in the giveaway of prime state lands, said to be worth billions of dollars.

Condemned

In reacting to the arrest of Jordan, Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, said there was no justification for the action by the police and noted that the arrest is another vile, malicious and vindictive act of political witch hunting by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) regime.

In fact he stated “The arrest of former Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, is not evidence based, but is rooted in depravity. The PPP is bent on harassing and tormenting the lives of coalition members and supporters.”

Harmon went on to state that Jordan’s recent remarks that the PPP/C has already borrowed more money than what was received thus far from oil has clearly upset the party. It was further stated that “What we see here today is a clear case of excessive use force by the state in an attempt to silence those who seek to expose them.”

According to the statement, attorneys-at-law, Roysdale Force SC and Darren Wade were at Jordan’s side throughout the process yesterday and Jordan was released from custody after needing medical attention due to the psychological and mental stress brought on by agents of the state.

For its part the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) also issued a statement in which they condemned Jordan’s arrest and called it a witch hunt by the current administration. The party assured Jordan and his family that they have its full support against the tyranny of the PPP/C administration. It was also mentioned that the current administration ought to be scared of the statements that are being made by Jordan surrounding the nation’s finances and its oil revenues. Consequently, it was stated that the current administration has resorted to body violence, health threats and psychological intimidation against the former Minister.

Meanwhile, businessman and principal of BK Inc., Brian Tiwari was also called in for questioning at SOCU Headquarters. This was confirmed by the Head of SOCU, who also related that the businessman was questioned in relation to prime waterfront properties in Kingston, Georgetown, in which BK reportedly breached its contractual obligations.

Karimbaksh noted that Tiwari was questioned and released on his own recognizance.

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