Four sent on leave in UG fraud probe

Guyana Chronicle
May 22, 2003

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A TEAM of auditors is currently conducting an investigation into financial irregularities in the accounts department of the University of Guyana.

An official of the university told The Guyana Chronicle yesterday that the detection was made last Friday, May 16.

The discovery has its genesis in a transaction conducted two weeks ago that was brought to the attention of the Administration. That transaction was viewed as irregular and senior officials were not happy with the way it was conducted, the source said.

As a result, staff of the Bursary received instructions to run some checks and unearthed 30 irregular transactions.

The source said after the discovery an emergency meeting was called to inform Admin Staff of the university. The Auditor Generalís Office was also notified and they responded promptly by dispatching auditors.

The Bursary is the section responsible for all financial transactions of the University of Guyana.

Initial reports claimed that it was a five-year-old fraud involving millions of dollars and was pulled off by keeping temporary workers on a permanent payroll, writing cheques in their names and cashing it at the bank. However, this could not be confirmed.

Four employees of that section were sent home, the official said, pointing out that relieving persons of their duties under such circumstances is a normal procedure to ensure the integrity of the investigation, to facilitate a smooth and speedy investigation and to ensure security of the documentation of the investigation.

The Police had reportedly not been called in and no arrests made up to press time, but the Bursary was under tight security as the auditors continued their investigations, the official added.

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