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– US$5M passengers’ monies missingWanted by FBI: Sonny RamdeoEZjet Air Services has been plunged into even deeper crisis with new revelations that the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been looking to question the founder/former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Sonny Ramdeo, over a number of violations.However, according to reports reaching this newspaper, Mr. Ramdeo cannot be found by the authorities for questioning.The reports disclose that the Department of Transportation (DOT) alleges that the airline contravened regulations by directing travel agencies to deposit sales receipts directly to EZJet’s account instead of through the approved route via accounts at Valley National Bank.Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan, disclosed that he has been in touch with DOT and other US officials and that Ramdeo remains unavailable for questioning for over a week now. The FBI is reportedly actively seeking Ramdeo’s whereabouts.“Sonny Ramdeo is being hunted down by the FBI for more than over one week now. He has gone into hiding with whereabouts unknown and thus has become a fugitive. This is as a result of a violation of the regular financial procedures concerning ticket monies from passengers which apparently total in excess of US$5M,” AFC’s Khemraj Ramjattan said last evening.Ramjattan also outlined the alleged diversion of the company’s funds from Valley National Bank.“Only when the passengers have arrived at destination and notification of demand is made by EZjet, were the monies to be paid over by Valley National to EZ Jet or Ramdeo,Cheap Jerseys USA,” the Parliamentarian explained.“What happened is that Ramdeo and his company officials managed to persuade a number of travel agencies in New York and Florida that this requirement was not applicable to EZjet. This mechanism of the escrow in the USA is for the security of the passengers getting back their monies if for any reason the flights were cancelled or did not happen. Valley National will return the monies for disbursement to the dis-satisfied passengers. This safety mechanism is implemented especially for these smaller licensed airlines.”EmbarrassmentAccording to Ramjattan, “this is an embarrassment for Guyana, one that could have been avoided if the Guyana Government had heeded calls for an investigation into the EZJet company structure and financing.”The USA regulator on Thursday, suspended EZJet’s operations following legal filing by Swift Air for alleged outstanding sums from EZJet. The authorities of both Guyana and Canada have since followed suit.With the suspension of EZJet service, thousands of passengers have been stranded and have expressed concerns about their refunds. Angry passengers continue to descend on EZJet’s Brickdam offices in an attempt to secure their monies.The company’s CEO (ag),Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, Rosalinda Rasul, has asked for cooperation and has promised to process refunds.She was unavailable to answer queries about Ramdeo being pursued by the FBI.Many persons have expressed concerns about whether they will get their refunds and have started to call on the Guyana Government, since the local regulator under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, should have ensured requisite insurance and coverage for such eventuality.Works Minister Robeson Benn said on Friday that EZjet lodged US$200,000 with the Bank of Guyana to cover eventualities such as this.The Government has started to discuss the fate of these stranded passengers with other airlines and Caribbean Airlines has already promised to help.MISSING IN ACTIONThe failure of the company to continue its services will bring scrutiny on the debacle in its entirety. Numerous commentators, politicians and private citizens have, for months now, called for an investigation into EZJet’s operations.However, the local authorities continued to ignore these calls and were forced to act only after the authorities in the USA suspended EZJet’s operations.Aside from the embarrassment, one wonders if the local authorities will launch any investigation into the Guyana end of the operations. The company should have covered its operational financial obligations with requisite deposits into an escrow account as well as meet insurance and other requirements. The days and weeks ahead will show how transparent the EZJet operations were and the consequences of the embarrassment to the country.Follow the money“If EZJet diverted all revenues to its own accounts, the big question has to be “Where is the money?”“With the unraveling of the veil of secrecy over the company operations we should finally get the answers to who the shareholders are and how much money they had put into the company – as well as how much they made from the company and where did the money go,” Ramjattan said.It is believed that the missing monies represented approximately 30 flights to USA alone for the end of the year which means about 6000 passengers at approximately US$600 per ticket which approximates to almost US$4M.According to Ramjattan, on the Guyana end, the situation is a worrying one as there are about 800 in Guyana that are stranded… with a similar amount in the US. He expressed worry whether a US$200,000 security deposit held by the Guyana government may not be enough.“It would mean that a number of passengers would have to bear their losses or Government will have to do a bail out, like it did with CLICO. To get these people home,Cheap Wholesale Jerseys, our Government will have to pay Caribbean Airlines about US$600 for that one way trip, either back to Guyana for those presently in the USA or either back to the USA for those presently in Guyana.”This could work out to almost US$1M($200M),Cheap NFL Jerseys China, he said.In recent weeks, Ramdeo and EZjet came into the spotlight after a healthcare company in the US sued both for allegedly stealing US$5.4M and passing some of it through the accounts of the charter company.In recent weeks,Cheap Basketball Jerseys China, creditors became increasingly nervous and started to demand payments upfront for supplies and services.It is anyone’s guess as to the outcome of the legal proceedings if all allegations were proven true. Ramdeo could face jail time if found guilty and the other company officers could face legal and other problems.WHERE IS RAMDEO?“All of this inconvenience and possible massive financial loss would have been avoided only if this hard-ears Government would have listened to certain people who were critical of EZjet at the initial stage, or if it had carried out proper due diligence on the prime movers of EZjet.”Ramjattan, a lawyer by profession, said that Government is still persisting with its argument that its “detractors” don’t want development.“It is now being proven one at a time that it is their corrupt buddies who they give the green light to who are mucking it up.”This is the main question at the moment as the authorities are looking for the founder of the airline. It is obvious that the Board of Directors and other senior officers will face questioning.The string of litigations facing the company and its officers will surely impact the company’s future notwithstanding the company’s acting CEO’s assurance that they are “looking for new investors” and that the company is not closed down.However, the lawsuit of the hospital was the first blow to the company. The hospital alleged that Ramdeo may have fraudulently converted funds into EZJet’s finances. The second charge came from the US authorities.While the US’ authorities are concerned about the whereabouts of Ramdeo, thousands of stranded passengers are wondering about the whereabouts of their money.