Tag Archives: Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond on the Invader’s Bay scandal and High Court ruling

afra raymond CMMB

“The entire process possesses all the ingredients for corruption, I maintain that view.”

Our friend Afra Raymond remains a solid asset to disgusted Trinis and the rest of the Caribbean in the fight against corruption by public officials. Trinidad’s Invader’s Bay scandal is representative of the types of corruption that unfortunately permeates the Caribbean, and Afra has been right on top of the story from the first moment. It is probably accurate to say that Afra’s detailed reporting on the story has the government vexed, and influences the government response and strategies.

Power of the press belongs to those who have one – and Afra has one.

Head over to Afra Raymond’s blog for the latest stories about corruption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Afra Raymond: Reality Check

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Filed under Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Bold-faced thieves, reckless public officials will destroy post-independence Caribbean

Once again our old friend Afra Raymond does his research and sounds the clarion: Everything Caribbean nations have achieved is at risk because of crooked politicians, bad lawyers and corrupt judges…

The Threat to Integrity – part 4

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

I am fully in support of a vigorous and conscientious Integrity Commission (IC).  I do not want to see the IC abolished or sidelined.  The IC must realign its limited resources to ensure a decisive impact on the conduct of Public Officials.  The proposals contained in its 2012 Annual Report show clearly that the Gordon Commission has started to seriously grapple with that challenge.

The derailment of the IC between 2004 and 2009 is a clear example of what can happen to an Independent Commission if we do not maintain vigilant oversight.

This matter is of the greatest interest for those of us campaigning for Public Procurement reform so as to get effective control over all transactions in Public Money.  The arrangements we are proposing include new Independent Commissions/Officeholders.  It is therefore critical that we learn the lessons from this debacle so as to safeguard the bodies we are proposing.  The stakes are very high for our nation’s Integrity Framework, which must be strengthened, with swifter resolution of allegations.

To continue in the current manner is to drag the system into further disrepute, encourage even more bold-faced thieves, more reckless public officials and we can expect complete loss of the residual respect for the post-independence civilization we have tried to grow.  That would be an ugly and violent future for our society, so this episode requires stern and conscientious examination. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond: The threat from Trinidad & Tobago’s Appeal Court

trinidad integrity law

Politicians everywhere love those state-controlled enterprises that are exempt from the rules applying to wholly owned state-enterprises. Why, you ask? It’s all about politicos being able to profit from your tax dollars while hiding the profits.

It’s been a constant battle trying to craft integrity laws because the moment a country puts them in place the politicians discover a hundred ways they are exempt.

In Barbados, of course, we don’t bother with Integrity Legislation because we’re happy that the politicians and government employees are able to steal. With about 60 % of the islands workforce somehow employed by the government it all works out. Well, everything works out except the mathematics of keeping the whole thing afloat.

Our old friend Afra Raymond has a problem with the Trinidad & Tobago Appeal Court ruling that undermines Integrity Legislation.

We only wish we had the same problem in Barbados. For in Barbados, we have no integrity or conflicts of interest laws at all!

Take it away, Afra…

afra raymond

Integrity threat from the Appeal Court

by Afra Raymond

On 27th June the Appeal Court ruled that -

  • TSTT is not a State Enterprise. The members of its Board are not subject to the Integrity Provisions.
  • It is only the members of the Boards of those Statutory Bodies which exercise public functions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the (Integrity) Commission.

Telecommunications Company of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) is a company established between the T&T State and the British-based multinational, Cable & Wireless. C&W holds 49% of the shares in TSTT, while the State holds about 42% of the shares together with the right to nominate 5 of its 9 Directors.

That unanimous ruling has serious consequences for the viability of our nation’s integrity framework.

The intended purpose of that framework is to ensure a satisfactory level of transparency and accountability in the way Public Money is transacted and Public Functions are discharged.  There is still a strong case for this Integrity Framework as a necessary ingredient in the Good Governance of our nation. The Integrity Framework includes the Auditor General; the Integrity Commission; the Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance and the two Parliamentary Accounts Enterprises Committees.  Ours is the most vibrant Caribbean economy and the State is clearly the largest player, so the proper management of that sector is critical. Given the continuing rise in the waste and theft of Public Money, there will always be a need for an improved, more effective Integrity Framework to oversee these huge, controversial operations…

…continue reading this article at AfraRaymond.com

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

CL Financial – CLICO bailout: Afra Raymond documents The Treasury Scandal

CL Financial Fraud

“In my view the failure and or refusal to account for the colossal and unprecedented expense of the CL Financial bailout is indicative of a ‘Quiet Coup‘ against our Republic.  I am deliberately borrowing Simon Johnson’s potent phrase, used to describe the coup of Financial Capital against the USA published in a fascinating and essential article from The Atlantic.  The fact that two successive administrations have remained bound to these arrangements and the low priority given to transparency and accountability in this matter all speak to the potency of the plotters.”

Afra Raymond gives ‘em hell with The Treasury Scandal

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Filed under Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Finance high-powered legal fight to keep public in the dark about CL Financial!

by Afra Raymond

Afra Raymond

Guilty Government Fighting Afra Raymond’s Freedom of Information request all the way

Please note that the JCC President, Afra Raymond, will be interviewed by David Walker of 104.7fm on Thursday 15th August, 2013 between 11:00am-12noon on the issue of “State Enterprises & Issues Arising Within”

Be sure to tune in!

We received the following from our old friend Afra Raymond. You should read the original at Afra’s own website.

Ministry of Finance Dance

This is the 12th July affidavit filed by the Ministry of Finance in reply to my claim under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) filed against them in this matter.

This is a most interesting document for several reasons – Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Trinidad and Tobago

Court issues order: Afra Raymond can drag stonewalling Trinidad government before Judicial Review

FOI Order Trinidad

Tough guy, that Afra Raymond. Won’t take “NO!” for an answer from a government that doesn’t think it needs to obey the Freedom of Information laws.

They fired Afra from where they could in the news media and thought he’d go away – but still he walks on in search of the truth. They tried ignoring him and now he’s gone to court and obtained an order when most people thought he couldn’t.

Yup, this is getting even curiouser and curiouser!

Order granting leave to file judicial review in Afra Raymond vs Ministry of Finance and the Economy.

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Filed under Freedom Of Information, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados, Trinidad governments excel at turning public assets into private profits

The ‘Eden Gardens’ transaction is a prime example of a large-scale economic crime against the State and the interests of its citizens.

Again, I ask – ‘Who were the beneficiaries?’

As we read Afra Raymond’s latest tale about how public monies are turned into private profits by corrupt T&T politicians and their friends, our thoughts turn to a dozen similar situations here in Barbados.

BLP or DLP doesn’t matter: the record of both major parties makes it clear that Barbados politicians have made it their business to rape the public purse at every opportunity. Think Dodds Prison and the Oil Terminal. Think CLICO. Think land expropriations where government doesn’t pay for the land ever and then some Minister of Government ends up fooping his mistress in a house built on stolen land. Her house but everybody knows where the land and building money came from.

Some church going folks will be upset I used the F word. They should first be upset at the Minister and if they have any upset left over then worry about my f word – for Bajans are being fooped by their guvment every day. It doesn’t stop.

Barbados lacks ITAL – Integrity Legislation, Transparency and Accountability Legislation. Prime Ministers Thompson and Stuart and their corrupt DLP promised it just to get elected in 2008. Then they pretended to push it through when they knew an election would kill it. An doan fool yourself… Mottley, Arthur and the BLP were in on the plan.

We can’t have the politicians restrained by little things like Integrity Legislation and Conflicts of Interest rules, can we?

There is only one political party in Barbados… the DLP-BLP coalition and they take turns every few years to let the other be on top. That’s the way things work in Trinidad & Tobago too. It’s all about turning those public assets into private profits. Afra Raymond tells us about some real experts…

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

Calcutta Settlement review

The simple, inescapable fact is that the State could have lawfully acquired the ‘Eden Gardens’ property for less than $40M.  The HDC paid $175M in November 2012 to Point Lisas Park Ltd (PLP) for that property, which is the reason I am calling this an improper use of Public Money.

Despite having available the advice of the Commissioner of State Lands, the Commissioner of Valuations and various attorneys at HDC and so on, the Cabinet approved this transaction.  This Cabinet, with two Senior Counsel at its head and several other seasoned legal advisers, appears to have been unaware of, or intentionally ignoring, the legal safeguards.

“I am calling for this matter to be swiftly investigated and the responsible parties prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Some readers may be surprised at those assertions, so here are my reasons for making such…

The last two articles examined the steps leading to the HDC’s purchase of land at ‘Eden Gardens’ in Calcutta Settlement.  In my opinion that transaction, as well as the one which preceded it, are both highly improper and very probably unlawful.  The HDC purchase must be reversed and the responsible parties investigated/prosecuted as required by our laws.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago