On May 11, 2023 Her Worship Magistrate Rhondel Weaver found SBF International Inc. guilty of the offence of conducting the business of a wholesaler of petroleum and petroleum products without authority to do so under a wholesale or and importing wholesale licence contrary to Regulation 4 (1) (c) Petroleum and Petroleum Products Regulations 2014. The company was fined three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) and was given up to June 30, 2023 to pay the fine or failing which one of its Directors will be imprisoned for a term of 3 months.
The Guyana Energy Agency charged SBF International Inc. for selling diesel and gasoline to Guyana Industrial Minerals Inc. (GINMIN) between the period September 28, 2020 and December 27, 2020 after the company’s licence was cancelled on September 14, 2020. Initial attempts to serve the Summons on the Directors of the company Dorwain Bess and Dannel Munroe were futile since they appeared to be evading service. This resulted in Magistrate Her Worship Leron Daly issuing an Arrest Warrant for Dorwain Bess. Subsequently, on July 8, 2021 Dorwain Bess and his Counsel appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court to have the arrest warrant recalled. Dorwain Bess thereafter caused several articles to be published against the GEA in the Kaietuer News and he along with a small contingent mounted several protests in front of the GEA’s Headquarters.
Notwithstanding the cancellation of the licence, Dorwain Bess continued his operation and was also charged with the offence of importing approximately 155,000 litres diesel without a licence between November 3rd and 4th, 2020 aboard the vessel MV Layel. That matter is before the Diamond/ Golden Grove Magistrates’ Court.
The Lead Prosecutor for the GEA was Mr. Arud Gossai, Attorney-at-Law while SBF International Inc. was represented by Mr. Neil Boston SC. and Ms. Dawn Holder Attorney-at-Law who sought leniency of the Court by making a plea in mitigation on behalf of the company. The Guyana Energy Agency continues its mandate in ensuring compliance with the Guyana Energy Agency Act 1997 as amended and the Petroleum and Petroleum Regulations 2014.