Second Guyanese businessman for US Grand Jury

Stabroek News
October 16, 2000

The businessman helping the US federal authorities with their inquiries into the visa scam uncovered at the US embassy is likely to appear before a US Grand Jury.

A former US economic affairs officer, Thomas Carroll, and a West Coast Demerara businessman, Halim Khan have been implicated in the scam and are before a US federal court in Chicago, Illinois. They were arrested in the US on March 17; Carroll at his parents' home in a Chicago suburb; Khan as he was about to board a flight back to Guyana from Miami.

Security sector sources have told Stabroek News that local investigators picked up the businessman. However he was released and allowed to travel with the understanding that when he got to the US the authorities there would interrogate him.

The businessman, who was implicated in a gold-related case here several years ago, was among a number of persons questioned by the local investigators. Among those investigated were Khan's wife and a former US embassy local staffer, Eton Cordis who now faces six charges for corrupt transaction and forgery in relation to visas issued to Adrian, Yosadra and Christopher Gossai, Gaitree Rampersaud, and Shaneeza Shareef. Cordis is on bail totalling $483,000.

Informed sources have told Stabroek News that the visas issued as a result of fraud could be cancelled without notice to the holder of the visa in circumstances where the information provided at the time they were issued is discovered to be false.

The local investigation is still ongoing, as the authorities here want to ascertain if any security personnel were involved in the scheme. At a pretrial hearing for Carroll, the federal prosecutors intimated to the Court that some police personnel had been involved with Carroll. Informed sources say that this information has not yet been shared with local law enforcement sources.

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