first_imgLocal investigators are still pursuing the extradition of former Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Power and Light Inc, Ash Deonarine, to answer two multimillion-dollar fraud charges.In August last year, Deonarine was sent on administrative leave after he allegedly transferred some .8 million to his personal account without the approval of the Board of Directors. He is also being accused of paying former board member Carvil Duncan, a sum of 8,000 that was not authorised.Following months of investigations, the two former GPL Executives were slapped with conspiracy and simple larceny charges last month. However, Deonarine had left the country since August 2015 and never returned, as such, he was charged in absentia.Wanted: Ash DeonarineAdditionally, when the matter was placed before the courts late last month, an arrest warrant was issued for the former GPL second in command. It is believed that Deonarine fled to Canada.In this regard, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told reporters on Wednesday that the Police Force is still working on the process to have the former GPL Executive extradited to Guyana to face criminal charges in relation to the alleged unauthorised withdrawal of $27 million from the utility company’s accounts as “back pay”.“Deonarine is still wanted by the Police… Our legal advisors are still in contact with the law enforcement officials overseas and we are trying to prepare extradition documents,” Blanhum stated.After coming into office, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Administration found that close to $142 million of the PetroCaribe Fund was plugged into the operations of the state-owned GPL. This was realised after Government said it had found an empty PetroCaribe Fund when it took office and later launched an investigation.Based on information gathered, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had explained that the power company has two DCEOs – one for operations and the other for administration. He said apparently, the operations DCEO was receiving a higher salary than the administration DCEO, and the operations DCEO had been making representations to the Board for there to be parity in the salaries of the two.This, the Minister pointed out, was reportedly disapproved by the previous Board. However, in June 2015, with the signature of Director Duncan, Deonarine made the payment to himself retroactive from January 2013 to June 2015.Patterson further stated that Board Members had made several representations to have Board fees increase from $5000 to $20,000. He noted while the Board had discussed the recommendation, no final decision was made in that regard. Nevertheless, Duncan later went ahead and approved payment to the tune of $948,000 for himself, representing “back pay” for the 48 months that he has been a Board member of GPL.The former GPL Board member was also charged for simple larceny and is currently out on bail as the trial continues.last_img