The General Manager of the state-run Grenada National Lottery Authority (GNLA), Jeffrey Gilbert has declined to comment on reports that a former employee had robbed the state-run body of thousands of dollars in overpaid salaries.
Gilbert was contacted Tuesday by THE NEW TODAY newspaper and questioned about reports circulating in certain quarters that an ex-employee with close ties to the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had used his position with the Authority to overpay himself thousands of dollars each month in salaries.
He admitted that something had happened but said it would be “inappropriate” for him to respond at this point in time to the allegation.
According to Gilbert, he was heading in the direction of a meeting and the matter could be raised there among other persons before any response can be given by him on the subject matter.
This newspaper has been reliable informed that the ex-employee was fraudulently paying himself in excess of $1000.00 per month in addition to salaries until it was discovered.
“What I am told is that if the man was supposed to get $5000.00 a month, he was paying himself something like $6800.00 a month until the scam was discovered”, said a source who asked not to be named.
According to the source, when the theft of lotto funds was discovered the former employee at first denied that he was
“I heard he told the Board (of Directors) when he was called to a meeting and the facts were put to him, that he was a strong supporter of the NNP and will not do anything to embarrass the party”, the source quoted the former GNLA employee as saying.
THE NEW TODAY was told that when the suspect was “cornered” with certain information that he could not refute, he eventually admitted that he was over-paying himself.
The source charged that the GNLA management did not call in the Financial Intelligence unit (FIU) or the Royal Grenada Police (RGPF) to investigate the matter and to press charges against the ex-employee due to his known “political connections”.
He said the ex-employee then moved speedily to hand over a cheque to the authority to cover the outstanding sum of money owed to GNLA in an effort to try and bring closure to the matter.
There are unconfirmed reports that a probe of the finances of GNLA is revealing a number of irregularities under the watch of this former employee who has since landed another job with a state-owned body that falls under the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation.