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$$M fraud at Region 4 RDC…Embattled Region Four Regional Executive Officer (REO), Shafdar Ali, who was wanted by police for “multi-million-dollar fraud committed on the state”, turned himself in to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department, shortly before 09:00hrs yesterday.He was accompanied by his lawyer,Fc Bayern Trikot G��nstig, Khemraj Ramjattan.Yesterday, Ali, shortly before he surrendered, said that he was surprised by the bulletin since no one had indicated to him that he was wanted.Region Four REO, Shafdar Ali“At no point in time did the Ministry of Local Government say that I was under investigation or that an investigation was going on. As a matter of fact, I spoke to the Permanent Secretary (PS), Sewchand, on Friday and he did not indicate anything.”The REO said that he had made contact with the PS to “follow up” on his leave which the Ministry kept extending.Ali was sent on his annual leave on December 30 after Regional Chairman, Clement Corlette, had expressed concerns of the handling of financial matters under the watch of the REO.According to Ali, yesterday, on Friday the PS undertook to pursue the leave issue with Minister Kellawan Lall since he was the one that had taken the decision to send Ali on leave.However, the REO claimed that despite several calls, he was unable to make contact with Sewchand on Friday.Ali claims that on Friday, Finance Secretary, Nirmal Rekha, with whom he spoke,Cheap Liverpool Shirts, said that he was at “a loss” as to the reasons why Ali’s leave kept on being extended. He advised the REO to see a lawyer.“On Saturday, I saw the wanted bulletin.”Police issued the bulletin for the official on Friday last.On Thursday, a government release said that Ali was sent on leave following an Auditor General’s preliminary report into alleged financial irregularities at the Region Four Democratic Council (RDC).The release said that Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall,Maillot Psg Femme, made this decision after the preliminary report. The report also led to the intervention of the police.Ali and the RDC Expediter, Bharrat Persaud, were both sent on leave, the release added.INNOCENTQuestioned yesterday about the allegations of fraud,Nouveau Maillot Psg 2018/19, Ali said that he is “totally innocent and ignorant” of the accusations. He promised that he would soon be speaking in depth with the media.“I want to give a detailed interview to the press but I am going in to the police right now. I don’t know what the situation is going to be…whether they will keep me in custody and how long.”Stressing that he wanted the issues surrounding the matter to be given more clarity, Ali said that it was clear from the media reports that both the media and police needed to  “be more au fait” with the government’s accounting procedures.EMBARRASSMENTThe REO said, “somebody is being mischievous”.“I trust that the authorities will take a close look at the matter and see that justice is done. This is a total embarrassment to me and my family.”Ali admitted that there were instances when he withheld making payments on projects that he considered unsatisfactorily done. However, on numerous occasions, he said that Sewchand would overrule his authority and insist that payments be made,Securing a lawyer to escort him to the CID headquarters was not straightforward,Maglia Juventus Originale 2019, according to Ali.He said that he approached Attorney-at-law, Anil Nandlall,Nike Basketball Shoes Clearance Sale, who declined to represent him after being “advised” to stay out of the matter.“He said that being a member of the party (PPP/C), that he would have to discuss the matter with the G.S. (General Secretary) and that he was going to call me back.“He call back in about 15 minutes and said that he was advised by the G.S. to keep out of the matter.”ALLEGATIONSIn January, Kaieteur News broke the story that the Auditor General’s office had launched enquiries into the financial management of the Regional Democratic Council, Region Four.This followed a letter from Chairman Corlette, who had expressed serious concerns over the financial handling of matters of the Regional Administration, with specific regard to the actions of the REO.Corlette had accused the REO of executing projects not sanctioned by the Regional Democratic Council and its works committee. Some of these were said to cost millions of dollars.The committee later complained that it was given the contracts after the works were already done, which is in complete violation of the statutory procedure.A source associated with the Region Four Democratic Council told this newspaper that the REO had refused to comply with the instructions of the body.Questions are being asked about the expenditure of four million dollars, which was approved for the provision of equipment and furniture for the regional office.According to a source, the Region Four Administration had approved road works for last year to the tune of $32.5M.
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