KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent –A Green Hill woman was remanded in custody on Monday when she appeared before a magistrate to answer four charges relating to stealing monies from the government
On Saturday, police charged Stacia Aberdeen, a 24-year-old clerk, on two counts of theft of EC$100, the property of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and two counts of dishonest falsification of receipts with intent to cause loss to the Government.
The offences reportedly occurred at Kingstown on Feb. 24, 2010 and Aberdeen was remanded in custody until Sept. 5.
Police also said they were investigating “several other similar reports” even as non-police reports say as much as EC$100,000 is unaccounted for at the department.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said at an unrelated press conference on Monday that “those who are functioning in any administrative position who are inclined to want to do anything with taxpayers’ money outside of the law… are going to be caught”.
“That’s the reality. You are going to be caught,” he reiterated.
He, however, said that his government has to try to ensure that systems are in place for proper accountability and control and for these systems to be strengthened, if weakened.
“I have been given a report as to what transpired and it does appear as though there were insufficient efforts at supervision and clearly that is an important management issue which they have to address,” Gonsalves said.
He said he had met with the Controller of Inland Revenue and Director General of Director of Finance and Planning separately and was to meet with them together on Monday to discuss several matters.
“The Director of Audit was quite right in pointing out that there needs to be greater openness for them to be able to do all the procedural issues in an auditing exercise,” Gonsalves said regarding a 2008 report.
He, however, was not sure if addressing these issues would have dealt with the current situation at the Inland Revenue Department.