‘I am not compromised’ – President Ali says Mohameds’ vehicle used for short period, out of necessity

Mohamed’s family now sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury.

The President was quizzed about his relationship with the family at a press conference on Thursday, just over a week after the sanctions were instituted. Concerns were particularly raised on the Dr. Ali’s use of the vehicle from the family.

He clarified that the vehicle was used during the election campaign ahead of the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections. President Ali said it was not used after August 2, 2022- the day he was sworn in as President.

“The vehicle that I used was during the election campaign and after my security …advised me that I needed a safe vehicle because of the distance I was traversing and in their assessment, the threat I was exposed to.

“I didn’t hide it, I didn’t drive in a tunnel. I did not use that vehicle after assuming office.

“The day I was sworn in, I was dropped home and the vehicle provided by the Office of the President was used from the next day,” the President said.

Soon after, he declared: “I am not compromised and I would not be compromised in any way, shape or form.”

Meanwhile, the President also said his relationship with the family does not preclude them from facing the consequences of any wrongdoing.

He said his relationship with the family dates back to his time at his high school, the St. Stanislaus College and at religious camps. Dr. Ali said the family is also well-known by many across the country.

“Does that make us or does that reduce our judgement on anything?

“I said the rule of law is the rule of law and that must apply equally for every citizen, no one is above the rule of law,” the Guyanese Head of State said.

The US Department of the Treasury, in a statement last week, said between 2019 and 2023, Mohamed’s Enterprise omitted more than 10 thousand kilogrammes of gold from import and export declarations and avoided paying more than US $50 million in duty taxes to the Government of Guyana.

Mohamed’s Enterprise has also been accused of bribing customs officials to falsify import and export documents, as well as to facilitate illicit gold shipments.

With these sanctions in place, the Government of Guyana said it is assessing what steps need to be taken now to comply with those penalties. It has asked the US Government for information from the probe conducted but in the meantime, the Mohameds’ cambio licence has been revoked and Mae Thomas, the government official implicated in corrupt practices, has been sent on leave.

President Ali also said Mr. Nazar ‘Shell’ Mohamed resigned as a People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Councillor.