‘I am not & would not be compromised in any way, shape or form’

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali

President Dr Irfaan Ali on Thursday declared: “I am not compromised and I would not be compromised in any way, shape or form; not me” as he was questioned on his association with businessmen Nazar and Azruddin Mohamed, who are facing sanctions from the United States of America.

The President at a press conference at State House was asked about his relationship with the Mohameds, which he said is as a result of his faith, referring to attending the same mosques and camps with the family.

However, he further highlighted that the family is known by majority of Guyanese given the number of years they have been in business. The Mohameds operate businesses in the financial, gold, construction and other sectors.

“Guyana is a small country…there is no one in this room who can tell me they don’t know the Mohameds…all the banks were associated with the Mohameds. All of the major businesses might have been associated with the Mohameds. The Mohameds have been in business before I was born,” the President pointed out.

Specifically, he was questioned about his use of a vehicle belonging to the family during the 2020 elections campaign and on the day he was sworn in as President. In response, he explained that the decision to use the vehicle followed advise from his security personnel.

President Ali further noted that this situation was not hidden from the public.

“My security advised that I needed a safe vehicle because of the threat I was exposed to. I didn’t hide it, I didn’t drive in a tunnel, it was open and transparent,” he emphasised.

The Mohameds along with their businesses, and former government official Mae Thomas were sanctioned by the US following an investigation into gold smuggling and alleged corruption.

The government has since written to the United States requesting additional information on the investigation.

In the meantime, it has suspended the Mohameds’ cambio licences. Other measures have also been put in place to examine the Mohameds’ connections with agencies, businesses and other institutions in a bid to safeguard the country’s financial system.