first_imgIn light of several local banking institutions having expressed concern over the disclosure of confidential information to sections of the local media, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Thursday said that he views the leaks as ‘negative’, not only for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) but the agency involved in the ongoing investigations. Against this backdrop, the Minister stressed that he intends to question the owner of the media house that reported the leaked documents.“I’ll have to ask probably the proprietor of the paper that first had the information, where he got it from [but] of course I’m certain they would say ‘we are confidential with our sources’ but it comes from a variety of sources quite frankly but I have asked SOCU (The Special Organised Crime Unit) and SOCU said they never leaked anything,” Ramjattan expressed.Guyana Times reported that SOCU had denied that it was responsible for the leakage of the sensitive information in sections of the media regarding the alleged “billions” in assets owned by embattled Ministry of the Presidency’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Omar Shariff.Ramjattan related that he is unaware from just where the leaks are emanating. “It is something that is indeed a negative but I must sayOmar ShariffPublic Security Minister Kemraj Ramjattan responds to the “negative” SOCU leaksI don’t know where that leak is coming from,” the Public Security Minister expressed.It was only on Tuesday that Bank of Guyana Governor, Dr Gobin Ganga, told this publication that he was worried over the leaks, pointing out that the divulged information can only serve to bring the entire banking sector into disrepute. Dr Ganga had earlier raised his concerns over the banking community sharing its information with State agencies, such as SOCU.After the Bank of Guyana Governor raised his objections to the disclosures, the Public Security Minister on Wednesday confirmed that some bankers had related to him their concerns over the leaks. He had told this publication that the banking sector will have to understand that notwithstanding the “derailment” with the leakage of confidential information, they are still obligated under the laws of Guyana to turn over requested information. Ramjattan had also pointed out that the denigrating of SOCU can only in the long run serve to undermine its investigations. He cautioned that those attached to SOCU are quite aware that the divulgence of confidential information is in fact a violation of its protocols.Speaking directly to those in the banking sector that have publicly or privately expressed their concerns over the leaked information,SOCU HeadquartersRamjattan had stated: “we will have to address this.”Sections of the media had published the bank account information of Shariff, along with what appears to be a summary of its balances and withdrawals. The published information also pointed to several asset holdings for Shariff, including shares in a number of local organisations, as well as shares owned in two local banks and Banks DIH Limited.Recently, Shariff, who broke his silence in relation to the allegations, had claimed that SOCU was responsible for leaking the confidential information to the media. He was recently sent on leave by Minister of State Joseph Harmon, pending an investigation by SOCU into his financial affairs.last_img