SOCU boasts of unlicensed gold smuggler, former Rice Board official bribery convictions

The Guyana Police Force says its anti-financial crimes Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) secured the conviction of a gold smuggler and a former official of the state-owned Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB).

Vibert Marks was found guilty and fined a total $120,000 on Thursday, February 6, after he was charged with exporting gold without a license and attempting to bribe CANU ranks.

Marks of Lot 95 Independence Street, La Grange and Lot 16 Hibiscus Park Blankenburg, West Coast Demerara, and 75 Bedford Avenue, East Hartford, Connecticut, USA, was given a one-year non-custodial prison sentence. The gold was forfeited in favour of SOCU.

Additionally, 39-year-old Peter Ramcharran, an accountant of Area ‘G’ Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, and former employee of the GRDB was Tuesday, February 11, 2020, found guilty on one of the thirty-nine fraud charges instituted against him.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The sum total of GYD$414 million dollars belonged to the PetroCaribe Rice Fund.

Ramcharran’s conviction is believed to be the first under the David Granger-led administration as a result of one of several forensic audits into a number of state-owned enterprises.

The fines and sentencing of the two convicts were imposed by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate Court.

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