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first_imgSome three weeks after the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had initially reported the “troubling development”, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Friday confirmed that a fake Identification (ID) card has surfaced in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).According to Chairman of the elections regulations body, Justice James Patterson (ret’d), which has oversight for the distribution of national ID cards, this discovery may just be the “tip of the iceberg”.The fake ID sent by the PPP last month“The public is warned that this may also just be the beginning of mischief that is afoot, a fifth column lurking and running about, abiding it’s time to come forth,” the Chairman said in a statement on Friday.On this note, Justice Patterson is calling on citizens to inform authorities if they are aware of any other such case.“Please, should any such misconduct come to your notice, as members of the public you have a civic duty to inform the nearest Police station as well as the GECOM Head Quarters at 41 High Street, Kingston Georgetown, or any of its offices countrywide for onward transmission to the investigating authorities,” the GECOM Chairman pleaded.The issue of fake ID cards was first raised by the PPP last month when it reported that a man was caught with a fake identification card in Berbice. The Party said this confirmed its fear that persons are being issued with falsified documents.At the time, Divisional Commander Lyndon Alves had denied knowledge of the report.But the PPP had said that the man caught with the falsified document was taken to the GECOM Office at Springlands and the Returning Officer, at that office after doing the necessary checks, confirmed that the Guyana ID card was fake, fraudulent and a forged document.The Party said this was “a most troubling development,” especially in light of widespread public suspicions that dishonesty is taking place at the Citizenship Ministry.“It would be recalled that functions now being performed by that Ministry were formerly performed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and that they were, specifically, disengaged from that ministerial portfolio and transferred to this newly created unit, styled “Ministry of Citizenship,” the Opposition had noted.The PPP went on to remind the nation about the shocking revelation in 2016, that the same Ministry was procuring a staggering 300,000 birth certificate forms.“This incident confirms our fears that they are falsified Guyana Identification Cards and source documents, which are being published under a centrally directed electoral design,” the party said.It added that in the circumstances, “we call upon the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to do a thorough and comprehensive investigation into this matter and to make its findings public. We call upon the general public to take note of this very serious matter and to be alert for the circulation of similar falsified, fake and forged Guyana ID cards and other source documents.”The party also vowed to monitor the situation carefully and to update the nation as more information becomes available.Back in February, Region One (Barima-Waini), Chairman Brentnol Ashley had raised concerns over the active participation and involvement of Government Member of Parliament (MP), Richard Allen with the General Register’s Office (GRO) visiting team issuing birth certificates in the region.In a letter to the editor, Ashley pointed out that this was happening although the A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) geographic parliamentarian was not employed by the GRO.“While I commend the work of the Register’s Office for reaching out to Region One with the objective of ensuring the people of the region are registered, I am questioning the transparency and equality of treatment due to MP Allen’s apparent “embedding” in the team’s day-to-day operations and process of the issuance of birth registration,” he had said.Ashley went on to disclose that he has even received reports of Allen personally distributing birth certificates in bulk to people in various communities.With Local Government Elections due this year, birth registration documents are critical for the registration of voters and in the past, the Toshaos and other community leaders had been the ones who worked with the GRO team, since they were knowledgeable about the eligibility of residents in their communities.last_img read more