Category Archives: graft and corruption

Venezuela: Illicit Trade Represents 21% of Venezuela’s GDP: Is This Our Post-Oil Future?

Venezuela – Click to enlarge

Tony Frangie Mawad | Caracas Chronicles

 After calculating the current annual worth of drug, gold and gasoline trafficking and port smuggling in Venezuela, a study by the local chapter of the anti-corruption nonprofit Transparency International — with estimates from Ecoanalítica, a Venezuelan economic consulting firm — concluded that these illegal economies made up 21.74% of Venezuela’s GDP last year.

“This means they are more powerful than any other economic sector right now, including oil,” says Mercedes De Freitas, Transparencia Venezuela’s executive director. “And we are talking only about the size of four of these economies, the most important ones. THERE ARE OTHER ILLICIT TRADES: Certain types of food smuggling, diesel smuggling, cooking gas trafficking, human trafficking or timber trafficking, which could be important in some regions.”       Continue reading

OPINION: Bribery and corruption – By Neville J. Bissember

By Neville J. Bissember

In February 1999, as the second round of negotiations on a successor Agreement to the Lome Convention advanced – the name Cotonou had not as yet been determined – the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the European Union (EU) travelled to Senegal to hold those discussions, honoring the tradition of an ACP Member State playing host to a session.  Besides the EU’s intention to “balkanise” the grouping into six regional trade blocks and to dispense European Development Fund assistance differently, a priority area for them in the political dimension of the cooperation arrangement was on introducing good governance, which included addressing bribery and corruption, as an essential element.    Continue reading

GUYANA: Read the latest edition of Energy Magazine – Q2 2022 Edition – 52 pages

Click: Read the latest edition of Energy Magazine

GUYANA: Shocking bribery disclosures regarding Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo +video

EDITORIAL – By Stabroek News – July 10, 2022

Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, and President Irfaan Ali

The most disquieting report we have carried in a very long time appeared in our edition of July 8. It was an account of the extended version of VICE News’s video documentary titled ‘Guyana For Sale’, the initial portion of which had been carried on June 18. This part had consisted largely of an interview with Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and his tenant, Mr Su Zhirong, along with a VICE reporter posing as a Chinese businessman interested in a deal here. The meeting had been arranged, according to the documentary, in order to demonstrate to the supposed entrepreneur that Mr Su, a middleman, had “access at the highest level.”

In the clips of the interview which were shown Mr Jagdeo did not implicate himself directly in the ‘business deal’, and he later strenuously denied any implication that he was associated with corrupt practices. As for Mr Su’s specific allegations about him accepting bribes, he responded that his tenant had abused their friendship for his own gain and had lied about him, and if VICE News had been discerning, then they would have realised they were “being duped”.  Subsequently he announced he was bringing a defamation suit against Mr Su, who not surprisingly is no longer his tenant.        Continue reading

GUYANA: ‘Nothing new from Vice News’ …says Glenn Lall

 …Glenn Lall says Opposition was silent when K/News was exposing corruption

Glenn Lall

Jun 22, 2022 – Kaieteur News – Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall has criticised opposition and other operatives who have opportunistically latched on to disclosures in a recent Vice News documentary on Guyana, saying that for years his newspaper has shone light on the shadowy deals with the PPP/C Guyana Government and Chinese companies, but the same people who are now speaking up were silent.

The Vice News documentary titled: “Guyana for Sale” which premiered on Sunday has as its main character, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo. His Chinese tenant and “friend” businessman, Su Zhi Rong is heard in the interview accusing Jagdeo of allegedly accepting bribes for large developmental projects undertaken in the country. Jagdeo has denied the allegations and has since signalled that he will take legal action against the Chinese businessman and also promised to evict him from his property.      Continue reading

GUYANA: Jagdeo’s Bribery for Investment Scandal – “Guyana For Sale” – VICE News video +News Reports

VICE NEWS VIDEO – Released June 19, 2022 — “GUYANA FOR SALE”
 .
Jagdeo takes aim at Su in alleged bribery-for-investment scandal; to evict him from house

Demerara Waves: By Denis Chabrol — Sunday, 19 June 2022

Su Zhi Rong

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Sunday fended off fresh claims that he takes bribes from Chinese investors and said he would possibly take legal action against Guyana-based Chinese businessman, Su Zhi Rong for sullying his name and engaging in extortion.

“Su denied having said this. Now, I have seen the release that he has actually said this so now I’ll have to ensure that I take some steps in regard to dealing with that because he has used his friendship to basically leverage it and in so doing destroying my reputation and extorting investors,” Mr. Jagdeo told Demerara Waves Online News/News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM.            Continue reading

GUYANA: Govt. puts hold on US$20M World Bank loan to strengthen scrutiny of oil sector

Apr 26, 2022 – Kaieteur News – By Kiana Wilburg

Since the PPP/C Government has not requested any disbursements from a US$20M loan Guyana took three years ago to help strengthen the nation’s capacity to manage the oil sector effectively, the World Bank said it has been forced to downgrade the country’s performance score on the loan.

The latest implementation status and results (ISR) report recalls that the money was approved on March 29, 2019 for the Guyana Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project (GPRGMP). The programme’s objective is to ensure the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the oil and gas sector.

A Financing Agreement in the amount of US$20 million was signed and declared effective on April 11, 2019 under the David Granger administration. The ISR, which was reviewed by Kaieteur News presents the implementation status of GPRGMP as of March 2022.        Continue reading

GUYANA: IMF advises against development of national oil company

…tells Guyana to improve oil contract terms for higher profit instead

– Apr 26, 2022 Kaieteur News – By Zena Henry

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised Guyana to secure a higher share of profit oil through its model Production Sharing Agreement, rather than actively participating in the task of petroleum development through a national oil company.

Another commentator opined that having a strategic investor in Guyana’s oil company would give that person or entity a permanent lien on all of Guyana’s oil resources. That means that the strategic investor would have the right to keep possession of property belonging to Guyana until it pays any potential debt that is owed. This is a recipe for cronyism and nepotism, it was suggested.In one of the institution’s 2019 documents providing technical support to the government, the Fund concluded that there is no strong business case to show that Guyana would receive more value from its oil endowments if it were to participate as a partner via a national oil company (NOC) in the development of the oil blocks.            Continue reading

GUYANA: Guyanese think Govt. corrupt at all levels – US Dept. of State Human Rights report

GUYANA: Government: Auditing of the public accounts: – By Anand Goolsarran

 — What about non-Central Government activities?

In last week’s article, we discussed four of the seven infrastructure development projects financed by the Exim Bank of China that ran into serious difficulties during their execution stages – the Skeldon Sugar Modernisation Project; the One Laptop Per Family Project; the Fibre Optic Cable Project; and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Project. The first three have failed completely to deliver in terms of their objectives, outputs, outcomes and impacts, thereby encumbering the Guyana’s public debt in the tune of US$115.4 million, with little or nothing to show for the expenditure incurred.

This is in addition to the significant amounts expended as counterpart funding on these projects. In the case of the airport project, the works are still on-going after ten years, with a revised completion date of 20 June 2022. The original construction cost was estimated at US$150 million. This has now been revised to around US$200 million.            Continue reading

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