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    20th of June, 2022. Georgetown, Guyana, South America. GSA News

    Last updated: June 20, 2022 at 18:56 pm

    It is not clear who or which entity is the mastermind behind the recent sting operation meant to sink Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and portray him as a corrupt politician. Star of the sting operation and documentary on alleged government corruption in Guyana, Isobel Yeung, works for HBO, Showtime, and Vice News. However, the sting operation was unsuccessful as it did not produce enough incriminating evidence against the Vice President – even though the actors attempted to elicit it.

    Yesterday, 19th of June, 2022, Vice News posted a video clip on its YouTube Channel showing parts of an interview between Isobel Yeung and Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo.

    Isobel Yeung: You know, Guyana has attracted a lot of foreign investments recently. What is that Guyana has to offer?

    Jagdeo: The opportunity to make money. That is why people are coming here. So that’s what I’m going to say. (Laughs)

    Isobel Yeung: This year Guyana dropped two points on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index which puts it among the most corrupt in the Region. Do you accept that within this government and within this country there is a problem with corruption?

    Jagdeo: First of all, I have a problem with the indices, but we do have real corruption in countries like ours too. This is like a blackness index. The darker you are, the lower you are on the index.

    Isobel Yeung: What about within your government? Do you accept bribes?

    Jagdeo: No, I don’t

    Isobel Yeung: We’ve spoken to a number of Chinese businesspeople in Guyana who said that you do accept bribes, and they have said that, in fact, this is the only way to get business done.

    Jagdeo: Well I can’t comment on that. You can just sit there and fabricate that.

    Blackness Index

    Jagdeo said that the Corruption Perceptions Index is a “blackness index” and that “the darker you are, the lower you are on the index.” While it is not perfectly clear what he means by that, it can be speculated that the Vice President has played a race card and is alleging that the powers that be, or those who administer the Corruption Perceptions Index, are themselves corrupt and unfairly placing colored people lower down on the index.

    The Sting Operation

    Isobel Yeung and another undercover agent identified as “Chan” posed as potential investors expressing an interest to do business with Guyana sometime around February 2022. They met with Jagdeo’s friend and tenant,  Su Zhirong, who rents one of Jagdeo’s houses next door to Jagdeo.

    The video shows the undercover agents negotiating with Su who tells them that himself and Jagdeo will be paid under the table via “Service Fees.” The video also shows the uncover agents, Chan, and Jagdeo in a meeting where the uncover agent asks Jagdeo if he “understand the deal.” However, Jagdeo responds that he only deals with the government side of things. Such a response is not enough to incriminate the Vice President or prove whether or not he is complicit or knowledgeable of Su’s bribery proposal.

    Jagdeo has accused Su of besmirching his character and using his friendship wrongfully to extort investors. He has threatened legal action against Su. Su had denied soliciting bribes from the undercover agents before the video was released by Showtime.

     “He had said that VICE News lied on him and had issued a statement [to this effect]. Now that they have him on record as though he was doing this, that he claimed he was not doing, that means he has abused the access and friendship he had with me to rip people off. So I am going to take legal action against him, because he is damaging my reputation in doing (so) and also he will no longer, as I had said in the past when you had asked me about it, he will no longer be a tenant,” Jagdeo told Stabroek News when contacted after the programme was aired yesterday.

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