6 arrested in Guyana probe of fund linked to Petrocaribe

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Two opposition lawmakers and four ex-officials in Guyana have been charged with allegedly mismanaging a sprawling public finance program.

Justice officials with President David Granger's government on Friday accused the six of misappropriating much of a special rice fund linked to Venezuela's Petrocaribe program that has provided fuel to regional nations at market prices but under generous credit terms.

Guyana exchanged roughly US$500 million worth of rice for oil. Venezuela stopped buying much of Guyana's rice in 2015 amid an escalating border dispute between the South American neighbors.

Anil Nandlall is an ex-attorney general and lawyer for the six suspects with the opposition People's Progressive Party. He says there's no evidence vast sums of money went missing from the rice fund and the party is being persecuted.