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By Leonard GildarieGuyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) has reportedly sacked a senior official from its Loss Reduction office in Berbice, after investigations of wrongdoings, in a case that has raised shocking questions.GPL’s CEO,Cheap Jerseys USA, Bharat DindyalA recommendation has also been made for him to be charged and prosecuted.Yesterday, GPL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO),Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale, Bharat Dindyal, confirmed that the contract of the official was terminated after complaints.Kaieteur News understands that a three-man investigating team was sent to the Loss Reduction office,China NFL Jerseys, Berbice,NFL Jerseys From China, late last month to probe a number of irregularities.According to an internal report of GPL seen by Kaieteur News, the investigators found a number of “fraudulent” practices that could also have implications on the power company’s Georgetown department located on Sheriff Street.In one case, the investigators probed a complaint where the senior official asked for bribes amounting to $1.1M to install a 15KVA transformer at the business place of a customer.In the first instance, it was alleged that $200,000 was made at the home of the customer (name given) and the balance of $900,000 at GPL’s Loss Reduction office where the sacked official operated.GPL’s records, oddly enough, showed that the cost of the transaction was a mere $292,513.Investigators found more on this particular transaction. The customer operated a business but was issued a residential account, which allowed him to benefit from lower tariffs.GPL has reportedly dismissed a senior Berbice official to taking bribes and adjusting internal paperwork to cover up thefts by customers.The customer and his family in statements made, also implicated operatives from the Sheriff Street Loss Reduction main office.The Georgetown operatives had travelled to Berbice to investigate, but the matter seemed to have instead been covered up, according to the GPL’s internal documents seen by this newspaper.GPL operatives went so far to hook up the customers with a straight feed which bypassed the meter and which resulted in the customer using free power for more than seven months.In another shocking case, investigators heard how one customer was discovered with a tampered meter.The sacked official reportedly acknowledged the tampered report but ducked it. He was instrumental in replacing the meter with a new one for the customer two days later, using what is known as Defective Meter service order.The sacked official reportedly instructed the customer to apply for a prepaid meter. This was all done in one day. This is significant as it can take customers weeks to do this. It was alleged that the official received bribes from the customer, ensuring that he was not back-billed as would have been required in a tampering meter matter. Investigators found the concealed tampered report and other documents.In a third case being investigated by the special team, it was reported that another customer was found with a tampered meter.Instead of making the necessary tampered report, the official submitted documents stating that it was defective. It was replaced. However,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, the Georgetown office was alerted to the fraud and after an investigation,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, the customer was back-billed for more than $1M. However, the customer never paid that amount, but continued to pay the normal monthly charges, receiving power.The account was flagged to be disconnected for consecutive months but apparently “stand-down” orders were issued.The investigating team also received reports that the sacked official had been leading a team, taking monies from customers found tampering with their meters. He would normally threaten them to report the tampering to the police.According to recommendations made in the report of the investigations, the senior Loss Reduction manager should be immediately interdicted from duties as his presence could have affected investigations into the involvement of other staffers.Yesterday, the CEO when contacted disclosed that an official has been dismissed.However, Dindyal made it clear that each instance has to be investigated as there have been cases where allegations are made against staffers after tampered meters and other illegal activities were found.Some of the allegations, the CEO said, were found to be false, as the customers were upset that they had been caught.“We have to take each case on its merits and look at hard evidence before we take action.”Dindyal insisted that despite this case, Berbice is doing well in terms of its loss reduction and other efforts.Loss reduction is a big deal for the power company. About 30 percent of its total production is lost to theft and technical issues. About 15 percent is estimated to go to theft alone.GPL has embarked on a US$60M-plus programme to reduce losses by phasing out old transformers and introducing new, smart metering technology.GPL itself has admitted that it has been forced to fire several crews for illegal activities, including taking bribes and turning a blind eye.
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