‘Fraud to the highest extent’ – City Council discovers fraudsters collecting vending fees for years

PPP/C Councillor, Don Singh

Singh said there is a mechanism in place for the fees to be safely stored.

“They said they had to stop it [night collection] because there was nowhere for them to lodge the money at the end of the night, never mind that the Head of the City constabulary is a stone’s throw away from the Stabroek Market with a safety deposit box well secured. There is a night deposit.

“It just makes no sense…That just seems like a very flimsy excuse to me,” the Councillor contended.

Singh said the individuals involved in the fraudulent act are pretending to be City Constabulary officers, bearing credentials from the City Hall. They also issue receipts after payments are made.

“…They [vendors] are paying purportedly to City Hall but not one dime has come into City Hall from that within two years but the collection is happening,” Singh said.

According to Singh, if the City Constabulary, which is the investigative arm of City Hall do not act, the Guyana Police Force will be called in.

“Fraud, criminality to the highest extent…If the City Constabulary does not investigate thoroughly, well then, we will have to ask the Guyana Police Force to step in. Because it’s clear fraud,” Singh told the News Room.

In the meantime, he is calling on night vendors at the Stabroek market to cease payment of fees and to come forward with the receipts issued, which can aid in the probe.

“I am telling the night vendors now, do not pay a cent. Stop paying and if you would like to, come forward with the receipt, so we can start prosecuting people who are doing this, purportedly from City Hall. It’s a lot of redundancy going on. A lot of back and forth. You get the sense that nobody wants to interfere with the state of scope there,” he said.