Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft

UPDATED January 23, 2014: NICE Radio apologizes to PM Gonsalves for inaccurately repeating BFP story!

Hey folks, NICE Radio has apologized to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for claiming that the PM owns two LIAT aircraft, and blames BFP.

Well guess what: NICE Radio must have inaccurately reported our article and left out the part where we say…

“That is if Skyhigh is correct, and he is anonymous so take that with lots of salt. BFP is only an anonymous blog ya know!

But now that Skyhigh identified the exact aircraft, we think that PM Gonsalves should clear the air…

Well, Prime Minister Gonsalves… do you or any of your family have anything to do with leasing aircraft to LIAT?

Yes, or no?”

Interesting though: St. Vincent has no integrity legislation and we don’t see the PM himself making a statement denying that he or his family own any interest in the aircraft leased to LIAT. Hey… maybe it’s the Mongoose Gang that’s behind all this?

Original story published January 17, 2014…

DHC-8-300 Dash 8 LIAT V2-LGI V2-LGI (click photo for large)

“The Prime Minister of St.Vincent thinks he is Chavez but he has a long way to go… however we all know he is just protecting his investment because he owns airplanes that he leases to LIAT. (V2-LGI AND V2-GG)
So In fact if LIAT shuts down he will loose considerably…”

BFP reader Skyhigh on The not so secret LIAT Airlines incident

American Airlines pilot and Barbados Free Press reader Skyhigh says that the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, owns two of the aircraft leased to LIAT airlines.

The deHavilland / Bombardier Dash 8 300 Series airliners carry registrations V2-LGI and V2-GG.

The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline.  

If the airline pays more for leasing, Gonsalves makes more money personally, but his fellow citizens are subsidizing the airline and putting tax dollars in Gonsalves’ pockets.

That is if Skyhigh is correct, and he is anonymous so take that with lots of salt. BFP is only an anonymous blog ya know!

But now that Skyhigh identified the exact aircraft, we think that PM Gonsalves should clear the air…

Well, Prime Minister Gonsalves… do you or any of your family have anything to do with leasing aircraft to LIAT?

Yes, or no?

Conflict of Interest – a few definitions:

  1. A situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person’s self-interest and professional interest or public interest.
  2. A term used to describe the situation in which a public official or fiduciary who, contrary to the obligation and absolute duty to act for the benefit of the public or a designated individual, exploits the relationship for personal benefit, typically pecuniary.
  3. A situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organization, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties. This includes when an individual’s personal interests or concerns are inconsistent with the best for a customer, or when a public official’s personal interests are contrary to his/her loyalty to public business.

Photo courtesy of the prolific and talented Jordi Grife – Iberian Spotters

(Jordi, if it’s not okay to use it, please contact us from your usual email and we’ll take it down. “Next year in Cuba, honest!”)

40 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Corruption, Politics & Corruption

40 responses to “Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft

  1. gentle jim

    And we thought it was only Barbados..LOL

  2. Would not be surprised if this is true. Caribbean politicians are so damn corrupt.

  3. Anonymous

    Maybe he could buy the planes from Harlequin Air…just to help out his pal David Ames.

  4. AB

    This is the most stupid article ever, and the people who replied above are just as stupid. If you have nothing sensible to write, then keep quiet.

  5. A webb

    A bunch of foolishness, and it sound so political motivated. And If indeed he own two of the aircraft and lease them or put them for lIAT to operate them, What is the crime in doing doing so? Don’t this person know that airline also lease aircraft to other airlines too? Don’t this person know that big airlines also go into contract with other smaller airlines to operate flight in low passenger traffic destination? I put forward this three question just to show the many arrangement that is possible. And for one to dump on an issues of the PM of St. vincent and the Grenadines owning two aircraft in LIAT fleet be it true or false, What is the crime or wrong in the ownership. This article so foolish and sound more like a political agenda. Foolish article I must say.

  6. Anonymous

    Reply to posters @5:45 & 6:18 – There is nothing wrong with owning and
    leasing the planes if it is done transparently in the open. Obviously
    it wasn’t.

  7. Anonymous

    stupid as stupid comes,why the grumbling?

  8. A webb

    So is it a right, that you have to know all of his business. or his there a rule that sat one but make know all his business plans or transaction to the public. As for as I can see, people like to make issues over nothing. I wish I can own 2 or 6 planes too and lease them to LIAT or whatever airlines I want, and that will be my right and my business. I do not have to disclose that to one person in the public domain.

  9. This isn’t shocking to me before I leave my beautiful home land to come to the US I use to wonder why we were treated by liat in that way if Svg have the most shares why are we paying so much for flying every other airlines come they disappear because somebody is getting the honey out of the Deal poor Vincentian they think we will be stupid all our lives. I believe he owned some planes

  10. Annonymous

    When airplanes meant as a gift to the Caribbean People get vested in a private company owned by two Prime Ministers, then leased to LIAT, there is something really wrong. Maybe the Taiwanese could clear the air here.
    To be fair to PM Gonsalves, he only owns one.

  11. Anonymous

    There is truth almost to all the above. However the fact remains that
    as the PM of a sovereign nation he should recuse himself from
    ANY MATTERS PERTINENT TO LIAT.

  12. gentle jim

    And staff of LIAT cannot get paid

  13. Anonymous

    How daft does one have to be to not see conflict of interest? If this article is true, how can anyone think its ok to be collecting money “personally” from an entity which your taxpayers are having to constantly pump money into? Unbelievable that there are people who cant separate emotional attachments and see things for what they really are..then again, it might just be ignorance!

  14. If this is true here are the problems. Gonsalves has refused to sign the SVG integrity legislation into law, which would show such assets. Gonsalves SVG government have paid LIAT 16 to 20 Million dollars every year to keep them flying. Gonsalves is also the chairperson on behalf of the LIAT shareholders. Gonsalves has blocked as well he can competition for LIAT. Passengers have been dished out the worst treatment of any small airline anywhere and Gonsalves has supported LIAT through thick and thin.

    If there is any truth at all to this matter I will be most disappointed.

  15. Anonymous

    A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.
    Dalai Lama

  16. Nadine Baldwin

    Vincentians you all need to wake up and smell the coffee, this man playing Vincentians for fools, why don’t he sign the integrity legistation what is he afraid of? Politicians should declare all of their asset, in order to avoid corruption. The man robbing tax payers. Why is it LIAT don’t have any competitors ?? Open up the market to other airlines, the ferry service from St Lucia will put LIAT out of business soon, with passengers from North America, I’m one who will fly to St Lucia then take the ferry over to SVG it will be much cheaper than LIAT…

  17. Anonymous

    Those who are political stooges will either defend Ralph to the end or condemn him to death depending on the Party to which they belong. if it is true then how can it not be a conflict of interest? he is taking the country’s tax payers money to support an aline company in which he has personal financial interest. If its a false story, then its pure wickedness to tarnish his name like that.

  18. Susan

    Nadine that is so true.

  19. Anonymous

    Thats why he needs to clear the air!!..but im guessing he’s only gonna play to his base and respond with a “none of your business” kind of answer…but guess what, it is every taxpayer’s business what happening with Liat!!

  20. Anonymous

    Is it illegal for a foreign citizen to donate to a SVG political party?

  21. unavailable

    Its not rite cuz he’s doing conflict of interest u guys nit looking to the depth u guys just watching the surface

  22. A webb

    I can see that this story is political Motives for and most of all it lack Hard evidence. I am sure any one can come up with two registration of an aircraft and clime that the PM of Barbados own them. just a shit story. Hear say, They say, Them say.

  23. A webb

    I can see that this story is politically Motivated and most of *********

  24. Anonymous

    Research carefully and after you have had your facts in order,then make a an educated and sound report. But for now, you have lost all credibility in reporting. PLEASE TAKE A SEAT

  25. meanwhile back at the ranch

    speaking of conflict, we are all still waiting for the ITAL legislation promised in 2008 and we don’t mean St Vincent.

  26. Vincy parrot

    Where there is smoke, there is fire !! Knowing how the man loves to sue people the Barbados Free Press would not be so reckless, if they didn’t have proof….. He sue Nice Radio for making reckless statements about him.. Well Vincentians waiting for him to sue the Barbados Free Press…

  27. Anonymous

    you all choke on that lol

  28. Anonymous

    u all thinkS what u all want and leave me PM. HE DOING GOOD FOR VINCY

  29. Cobra

    Anonymous : 1/21/14@12:02pm and 1/22/14@1:55pm.
    When Vampires suck the blood of their victims, the victims becomes the slaves of the Vampire to do his dirty works and call him “Master” and you are just a slave to “Vampire Ralph” he will suck the life blood out of Vincentians to build up the “Gonsalves Dynasty” soon Vincentians will only be a shell of themselves with nothing, while Ralph and his children and grand children will controll the “RICHES” along with all the slaves…..

  30. Anonymous

    Please take note that two employees of a local radio station in
    saint Vincent and the Grenadines have aired this ridiculous statement as news on that station and the manager has had to since apologize to the Prime Minister on their behalf….
    There are people out there who don’t take time to check their stories out to get the facts, and as soon as the get something that sounds good to them, without knowing whether it is truth or lie; they already post it on the internet…and before you know it , it is all over the place as the gospel…
    Be careful little hands what you write, it may come back to haunt you..

  31. Vincy parrot

    @ Anonymous come better than that !! Barbados Free Press is not a
    Vincentian publication, you need a full dose of castor oil to purge yourself of all the ULP garbage in your gut.. ” We Vincy nah dotish ” so wheel and come again…

  32. Cane cutter

    Wasn’t Gonzalves’s on more than one occasion accused of rape and assaulting females. There is video by a Canadian woman on the internet about his unwanted advances. Why doesn’t he and his pimps sue her?

    The man has a bad reputation he is not to be trusted particularly around women. Gonzalves and his St. Vincent lackeys cannot tell Bajans what to say or do. They drunk as ass. Let Gonzalves know his fcuking place. He is forever pushing his Pillsbury dough boy self into the affairs of other nations. He’s been told off by Trinidadian and Jamaican politicians before for meddling. Gonzales main priority should be to stop the drugs that ruining communities in Barbados from being loaded on go fast boats in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and sent to Barbados. There must be hundreds of St. Vincent dug runners in Dodds prison caught by our alert Coast Guard and Police.

    No one should put anything past Gonzalves . The man visits the Pope for what? Gets money from rouge states like Iran, Libya, Taiwan, Venezuela .How can you trust such a person .

    Anybody notice for years Barbados always helps out St. Vincent and St. Lucia in times of crises like the xmas eve floods and hurricanes but the only country they mention and thank is Trinidad.

    The LIAT shareholders of which Bajan taxpayers carry the largest and most unreasonable burden should demand he comes out and clears the air on owning LIAT planes. That’s not a task for any functionary like the CEO.
    What Gonzalves what!

  33. Corey J.

    KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — The manager of a St Vincent radio station which last year paid Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves EC$206,000 for defamation, has apologised to him for a news item aired on the station on January 17.

    Manager of NICE Radio, Douglas De Frietas, wrote Gonsalves Tuesday, saying that out of ignorance, two broadcasters inadvertently aired news stating that the Prime Minister owned two LIAT planes.

    “This information has no basis of truth. I have spoken to both broadcasters and they have asked to convey that they are truly sorry for their grave error,” De Freitas wrote.

    De Freitas said that he apologised to Gonsalves on January 20, offered the apology on air, and will do so via local newspapers.

    In a statement on Tuesday, LIAT said that the report was erroneous.

    “These statements are reckless and mischievous. Such reports negatively impact the travelling public, our Caribbean community constituents, and the staff of our airline. LIAT distances itself from these unverified reports and remains committed to channelling our energies into our modernisation programme and to putting LIAT on a profitable footing,” acting CEO of LIAT, Julie Reifer-Jones, said in the statement.

  34. Anonymous

    Gonsalves is among the lowest things in SVG.

  35. Tass

    Wait Ralph Gonzalves already sue the same radio station and get about BDS $150.000?
    Wtf I hearing.

    As soon as you open your mouth in St. Vincent like Gonzlaves does sue and unsurprisingly win. Is there freedom of speech on the island? Not only Gonzalves want kicking out of office the entire judicial system needs an overhaul.

    Do any of the Vincies on BFP know how many times Gonzalves sue people in St. Vincent and win money. If you do list them and the monies he won for us. Stewpssss that’s maybe the reason St. Vincent not in the CCJ its not far fetched to think everyone of those suits would be overturned and thrown out.

  36. Pingback: LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post | Barbados Free Press

  37. A Webb.

    Well Here you have it the managers of LIAT came out and clear the air of this foolish talk, but St. Vincent PM own two LIAT aircraft, and no one comment about that when you all get the true storry, but quick to received false and negative nes and run with it. Wow! what a bunch of fools we have.

  38. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Ralph Gonsalves the least to say is no saint and is no stranger to seducing beautiful women. I should know he made an attempt on me a few years ago. He took one look at my butt and was salivating from ear to ear. He perfusively asked me for my number which I gave. What he did not know is that when he called he would have gotten my husband because I told him what had happened. When he called my husband answered the phone. He said he wanted to speak to me and my husband instantly recognized his voice and said, I am sorry Mr. Prime Minister but my wife cannot come to the phone now because she is with me. He put the phone down in a hurry. I bet you he would say he do not remember this or would deny it like liar he is.

  39. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Politicians in the Caribbean are corrupt to the core. And the thing is they do not believe that they are doing anything wrong

  40. Konkieman

    Glad they kick his butt out of Bim to stop him poisoning young minds at Cave Hill. The biggest tiefs are the socialist and commies like Ralph who pretend to be “people savers” and end up screwing their admirers.