Tag Archives: 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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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

When government enriches carpetbaggers at the expense of the Public Interest

“Sound land administration policy appears to have been abandoned for expediency.”

“Where is the basic due diligence?  These sorts of schemes should not even get past the first gatekeeper, far less into the Cabinet for consideration.”

Calcutta Settlement again

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

In light of the many questions raised by readers after the last article on the Housing Development Corporation’s purchase of land at ‘Eden Gardens‘ in Calcutta Settlement, I am continuing there.

The previous article discussed the Calcutta Settlement scheme and its relation to implementation of national housing policy.  There is little, if any, connection between the provision of affordable housing and the acquisition of those ‘Eden Gardens‘ lands, at what is surely the highest price in Central Trinidad.  How we create and implement a progressive housing policy is a critical part of this discourse, but there is more.

Another important aspect of this episode is the fact that sound land administration policy appears to have been abandoned for expediency.  Expediency should never eclipse proper policy, especially when neither the process nor end-result advance the ultimate objective of serving our citizens.

The sidelining of sound land administration policy was essential in order to get the Calcutta Settlement scheme approved.  National Land Administration policy is important so that we can be strategic in using the country’s property assets for proper national development, as opposed to the enrichment of a select few.

The State is a unique player in our country’s land arena, so we need to place this Calcutta Settlement episode into proper context from a land administration viewpoint.  Continue reading

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Afra Raymond: Tangled webs in the Tobago House of Assembly – Part II

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

BOLT and Calcutta: “A hundred million here, a hundred million there – pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

Two weeks ago in Barbados Free Press I set out my main concerns in relation to poor procurement processes with the Tobago House of Assembly BOLT project.  A large amount of Public Money was being committed to a project with little apparent regard to Value for Money concerns in an arrangement which seems to expose the THA to the principal risks at a time of limited financial resources.

This article is a critical examination of the controversial proposed purchase of 50.6 acres of land at Calcutta Settlement by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

The HDC’s role is to build and maintain homes to satisfy the requirements of its main client, the Ministry of Housing and the Environment.  According to that Ministry -

The Corporation is mandated by the Act to:

  • Provide affordable shelter and associated community facilities for low and middle income persons and;
  • Carry out the broad policy of the Government in relation to housing.

With over 125,000 applicants on the HDC’s waiting-list, there is no doubt that, for many poor people, the HDC is their only hope of getting a reasonably affordable home of decent quality.  That means that the HDC is an important implementing agency in our nation’s welfare provisions, which is a role I fully support. Continue reading

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Afra Raymond: Tangled webs of Tobago House of Assembly, BOLT and Calcutta

“…Lindquist and Interpol officers had discovered more than $1billion stashed away in off-shore accounts, arising out of corruption in the airport project…”

Tobago House of Assembly BOLT

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

With the Tobago House of Assembly THA elections having become a kind of national contest, the issues of governance and integrity loom large.  The two relevant controversial issues, both of which emerged late last year, were the THA/BOLT office project and the HDC’s proposed purchase of land at Calcutta No. 2 Settlement.

Both those projects have given me serious cause for concern in terms of proper public procurement practice, so much so that I see them as being two sides of the same coin.  Both these cases are models of inadvisable dealings in Public Money of a type which no prudent or reputable company would undertake.  I am choosing my words carefully since recent reports are that litigation has already started on the THA/BOLT project and there may well be further legal action on both projects as we go forward…

I do not at all agree with the widespread myth that corruption is a minor thing which adds maybe 10% or 15% to the cost of projects. 

That misinformation is nothing but public mischief which has blinded us to the scale of the theft of Public Money, so it must be completely demolished.  In the case of the 1970s to 1980s ‘Government to Government Arrangements’ the then PM, George Chambers, told the nation that two out of every three ‘Petro-dollars’ was wasted or stolen.  In the ongoing imbroglio over the $1.6Bn Piarco Airport project, we learned from the DPP’s S.34 statement that $1.0Bn of Public Money had been located in offshore bank accounts.

This article deals with the THA/BOLT project, which is a Public Private Partnership. The PPP is a procurement model now being pursued by this government, according to the strategy outlined in the 2013 budget.

The DPP’s S.34 Statement on Wednesday September 12, 2012

“…These cases involve allegations of a conspiracy to defraud the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago of over TT$1 billion by the fraudulent use of bonds and the rigging of the contracts for the various Construction packages for the Piarco Airport Project…”

The DPP’s full statement is here.

Also, from “Cops target MP in $1Bn airport scam” in Trinidad Guardian of Friday 5 March, 2004 –

“…TV6 News reported last night that Lindquist and Interpol officers had discovered more than $1billion stashed away in off-shore accounts, arising out of corruption in the airport project…”

BOLT

Build Own Lease Transfer (BOLT) is a subset of the PPP procurement method.  Under a BOLT arrangement a client has a facility built by the private sector at their expense – the client makes agreed rental payments so that the developer can cover the cost of building the project and a reasonable profit.  At the end of the agreed lease period, the facility is transferred to the client. Continue reading

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A distastrous combination: Weak controls over public money, and a culture of allowing white collar crime

“Please note that the entire project cost about $1.6Bn, yet about $1.0Bn was stolen and hidden in offshore accounts. That is the true extent of the corruption we are fighting against and that is why I have called it a tidal wave of corruption.”

… Afra Raymond on the Piarco Airport scandal

“If you are serious about making a difference, you have to develop the fortitude to turn away from matters which are merely true and interesting, so that you can focus your time and energies on what is really decisive…”

by Afra Raymond

That is my attempt to paraphrase the late Lloyd Best, as he spoke emotionally to a meeting in about 2004 at the Centre of Excellence. If we are serious, we need to ignore the pathetic distractions and keep our eyes on the ball.

Following on from my previous column on S.34, there are two main issues emerging at this time…

Firstly, the entire Plot to Pervert Parliament was an outcome of the Piarco Airport scandal, said by the DPP to involve some $1.0Bn of stolen Public Money.  Please note that the entire project cost about $1.6Bn, yet about $1.0Bn was stolen and hidden in offshore accounts.  That is the true extent of the corruption we are fighting against and that is why I have called it a tidal wave of corruption.  A well-planned assault on our Treasury by leading elements of international organised crime.

This is to refute those deceivers who try to soften us up for the poison by saying that ‘is only a lil 10% and it does happen everywhere’.  The truth has a power of its own.  The JCC played a leading role in calling for and submitting evidence to the Bernard Commission which exposed abuse of power and corrupt practices in some of the highest offices in our country.  The Piarco Accused needed to escape trial because of the effective work done by the Bernard Commission in exposing criminal abuses of Public Money.  There are also strong elements of political party financing at work here, much like in the CL Financial bailout fiasco.

The lack of an effective Public Procurement system is what allowed the Piarco Airport scandal.”

Secondly, public trust in this administration seems to be at an all-time low after the Plot to Pervert Parliament was exposed.  To a lesser extent, that loss of trust could also be affecting the Opposition PNM.
The offending S.34 has now been repealed, yet the public clamour continues.  So what is to be done?

The campaign of wild distractions

Having had to endure an insulting and incomplete attempted explanation from our PM, we are now being subjected to a sustained campaign of distractions.

There seems to be a scramble from both sides to shower each other with allegations of large-scale corruption.  No need to list the examples, there is plenty of mud to go around.  While there are serious questions on the THA/BOLT project as well as the Calcutta Settlement lands, I will not be writing on those yet.

This crisis is an important opportunity to decide if we want to do differently.  Do we?  If not, crapaud smoke we pipe.  If we really want to do differently, we have to start thinking differently and stop the point-scoring games.

This series of crises which have beset us are all related to weak controls over Public Money and a culture which sees white collar crime going unpunished.

There are three linked and effective actions which must be taken now – Continue reading

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CL Financial – CLICO fraud: Dr. Terrence Farrell wilfully blind?

Protecting Sacred Cows…

Our old friend Afra Raymond takes issue with the former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Terrence Farrell and Farrell’s statements in support of the bank’s outgoing governor, Ewart S. Williams.

Considering that Ewart Williams knew in 2004 that CL Financial Group was having serious trouble and was in violation of the law – and that Williams and the Trinidad Central Bank did nothing until the house of cards collapsed, Dr. Farrell’s praise is indeed misplaced and almost comical except for the great human tragedy that the Central Bank’s failures contributed to.

Always an excellent read at AfraRaymond.com:

“The entire scenario reeks of corruption in the highest offices in the Republic and on the largest possible scale.  We are witness to an epic swindle being carried out on our Treasury and in broad daylight.”

from Afra Raymond’s new article The Sacred Cow

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Economy, Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond on Heritage Radio 101.7fm – 6:30am July 31, 2012

Read Afra’s latest piece on CLICO, CL Financial: The Sacred Cow

Tune in to Trinidad’s Heritage Radio 101.7fm to hear Afra Raymond talk about 50 years of Trini independence.

Listen online here!

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Trinidad Express to publish Afra Raymond… after T&T Guardian shamefully caved to political pressure.

When the history of the CL Financial / CLICO fraud is written, one courageous journalist will stand out: Afra Raymond.

There is no one else in Trinidad or Barbados who has damned the torpedoes and charged straight ahead with the entire truth. No one.

Afra Raymond is a T&T journalist whose effective investigation and analysis on the CL Financial scandal has continually exposed the unethical and illegal actions of many of the main players in the financial debacle. His work has aided the small investors who were abused and deceived. Afra alerted the taxpayers who were being set up to be raped again by politicians more interested in cover-ups than in asset protection and recovery. He is feared and despised by the wrong-doers because he is capable of so clearly and simply describing what the crooks did.

If your last name is Parris or Duprey, you undoubtedly consider Afra Raymond to be a dangerous man.

Afra has paid the price for his defense of the ordinary people, the people who trusted the financial elites like Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey. At the end of 2011, the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian who then published Afra’s work decided that they would secretly send his articles to politicians to preview and vet his writing prior to publishing! This was a breach of basic media ethics.

Upon hearing that the editor was secretly sending his unpublished articles to selected politicians and big-ups – Afra, in very civilized terms, told the T&T Guardian to stick it where the sun doan shine. He resigned as any journalist of integrity would.

Here we are six months later and the Trinidad Express has hired Afra to write a column. Good for the Express: the paper clearly stands head and shoulders above the Guardian.

What does the CL Financial and CLICO scandal boil down to for Afra? In a phrase: “Privatized profits. Socialized losses.”

That is what Duprey, Parris and the rest of the CLICO – CL Financial clan are still doing to you and to me.

Can’t wait for Afra’s first column at the Trinidad Express. It might or might not be on CL Financial – we haven’t been informed. But whatever the subject, we’re looking forward to once again seeing Afra Raymond in the traditional news media.

Further reading and listening

Check out AfraRaymond.com where you’ll find some media interviews of Afra from June and May just passed. You’ll get angry as Afra Raymond chats in ‘The Barbershop‘ with John Wayne Benoit on i95.5FM about the CL Financial bailout and Public Procurement issues and other topics on June 30, 2012. Then go to May 4th on Early Morning with Hema Ramkissoon where Afra discusses ‘Government fails to deliver?’; a question on the minds of the construction industry.

Well worth your time!

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

Internet effectiveness: Barbados excellent, Trinidad and Tobago among the worst in the world…

Effective Governance Key to Caribbean ICT Development

by Gerard Best

PORT OF SPAIN.  Trinidad and Tobago jumped three spots to place 60th overall out of 142 countries in the 2012 Global Information Technology Report, published earlier this month by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Even with its slightly improved ranking, Trinidad and Tobago lagged behind other Latin American and Caribbean countries such as Barbados (35th) and Puerto Rico (36th), although it outperformed several larger territories in the region, including Brazil (65th), Jamaica (74th) and neighbouring Venezuela (107th).

A closer look at the report’s Networked Readiness Index reveals that the reasons for Trinidad and Tobago’s middling performance on the global stage were more closely related to gaps in leadership deficiencies than deficiencies of a technological nature. One telling statistic: although Trinidad and Tobago had top ranking (1st) in the mobile network coverage category, the country still ranked 82nd in terms of affordability of mobile rates, and in terms of Internet and telephony competition–a dismal 117th. Continue reading

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Afra Raymond asks: Who will benefit from the expenditure of public funds at Invader’s Bay?

Updated August 4, 2012

Trinidad & Tobago government negotiating with businessmen for Invaders Bay Development Project

Just like in Barbados where politicians sometimes use the most elaborate schemes and deceptions to transfer public lands and other assets to the private sector without transparency or lawful process, the government of T&T is about to provide private interests with public assets at Invaders Bay. Will the public interest truly be served? And how are the people of T&T to be assured that there is nothing happening ‘on the left’ ???

Govt green light for talks on Invaders Bay

Cabinet yesterday gave approval for negotiations to begin with businessmen Derek Chin and Jerry Joseph for the Invaders Bay Development project.

Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie, speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s said that D Chin Commercial Development Ltd’s proposal to lease a portion of the State land to construct a Streets of the World entertainment and shopping complex was accepted and negotiations will commence with market determined commercial lease rates…

… read the latest at the Trinidad Express Govt green light for talks on Invaders Bay

BFP’s original story first published April 25, 2012…

Do citizens have a right to know where and how public funds are being spent?

The land at Invader’s Bay, Trinidad was reclaimed at public expense about 10 years ago. Now Afra Raymond and the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry are trying to determine who owns the lands, and under what laws the lands were created and transferred.

Simple questions, to be sure… but the answers have not been forthcoming from the Trinidad and Tobago government. Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Trinidad and Tobago

Making progress in Trinidad and Tobago – How are we doing in Barbados?

Today our friend Afra Raymond takes a look at some positive developments in Trinidad and Tobago. The T&T Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is successfully collecting some of the $240 million in back rent owed by tenants. The new Building Code is about to come into force and the government has actually fired a state corporation executive for corruption. Oh My!

Good for Trinidad & Tobago. Let’s hope it’s real. Here in Barbados we often read good news, but when we check back months later it was all smoke in the wind. We’ll look forward to Afra following up on these good news stories in a few months…

Property Matters – Taking Stock

by Afra Raymond

As part of this pre-budget series, I am going to ‘take stock’ of some recent, significant happenings in relevant areas.

Given the unstable situation in relation to the State and its operations, many examples of which have been set out in previous ‘Property Matters’ columns, it is very important that a critical stance be maintained.  That said, it is also important that any progress be properly recorded and acknowledged.

The notable items were – Continue reading

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In the Caribbean, budget time is corruption time!

“Expenditure of Public money – minus Accountability – minus Transparency = equals CORRUPTION”

Property Matters – State Enterprise Accounts

by Afra Raymond

In the next few weeks, this column will cover some of the issues which are likely to have a bearing on the 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Budget. The same issues apply to Barbados – especially considering the country’s lack of Integrity legislation, conflicts of interest rules, accountability mechanisms and Freedom of Information laws. Without these basic foundations, Barbados politicians, government officials and managers of state-owned enterprises can only pretend to be accountable to citizens: and pretend they do!

In my view the State and its Agencies must perform in an exemplary fashion if we are to progress.  A good example is worth a thousand words. Continue reading

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Trinidad & Tobago Police investigate emailed threats to journalists

Barbados Police refused to investigate similar government threats here

Trini Police are investigating an advisor to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for sending threatening e-mails to Trinidad Express journalists Omatie Lyder and Anna Ramdass.

Government advisor Sasha Mohammed belatedly denies sending the threatening emails, but the problem for her is that the police say the e-mails came from her home internet. Mohammed’s lawyers are doing the slippery routine, but one senses a bit of bluster there.

“The e-mails were sent from an e-mail account under the name Janice Thomas which was traced to Mohammed’s computer.”

… from the Trinidad Express story Sasha Under Fire

The fur continues to fly and we’ve linked to some stories in our post – but when you read the newspaper accounts it sounds like there is a possibility that Sasha Mohammed was not interet-savvy. She didn’t know about IP addresses before she hit the “send threatening email” button on her PC. She sure does now!

Barbados Police cover up threats against journalists

It reminds us that the same sort of event happened in Barbados, but in that case the Barbados Police didn’t investigate because they wanted to protect the ruling class. You see, back in 2007 and 2008 a series of threats were made on the internet to murder Barbados hotelier and journalist Adrian Loveridge.

When it turned out that some of the threats came from a computer in the Members of Parliament lounge, well, that was the end of the investigation. Adrian Loveridge filed a formal complaint with the police, but in the end they didn’t even bother to interview Mr. Loveridge. The police did nothing except to protect the BLP government at the time.

Welcome to Barbados where the “rule of law” means that those who rule are the law and the law is whatever is convenient at the time.

Later, a Member of Parliament, Doctor Duguid, confirmed that the anonymous threats to murder Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge and arson their business came from the Barbados Parliament computer. Information posted on another blog even named a Member of Parliament as a suspect.

But the Barbados Police did nothing.

Mr. Loveridge is known for writing well researched news and opinion stories about the tourism industry, but his opinions are sometimes inconvenient for the government. Mr. Loveridge used to do a column for the Barbados Advocate, but was fired when the Tourism Minister of the day, Noel Lynch, threatened to stop government advertising to that newspaper unless Loveridge was sacked.

So the cowardly whores at the Barbados Advocate sacked Loveridge so they could continue to suck on that government advertising revenue. That’s pretty well the way it happened and Adrian wrote about it here and nobody sued him so we believe Adrian.

There is a difference between the Barbados Police and the T&T Police

In Barbados, the police rough up and man-handle journalists, take their cameras, erase the photos and get away with it. When a journalist is threatened by a Member of Barbados Parliament, the police cover up.

Give Trinidad and Tobago Police their due respect for at least this: When two journalists were threatened in emails coming from the home of a powerful government insider, the police did an investigation and by the looks of it they pressed for the truth. At least they did that. Whether they had the strength of will or a strong enough case to lay criminal charges is another story – but at least they investigated the threats and interviewed the suspect and witnesses.

Oh that our Barbados Police could have similar integrity!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, News Media, Police, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago