Tag Archives: CL Financial Scandal

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

Former Trinidad Government Ministers run from Colman Commission appearances: Cowards? Crooks? Realistically cautious?

by Afra Raymond

CL Financial bailout – Colman’s endgame

We are entering the endgame of the Colman Commission, so we need to maintain full vigilance.  We must bear witness in a sober manner.

The PNM element

Former PNM Ministers Danny Montano, Conrad Enill and Mariano Browne were recently named by Commission Chairman Sir Anthony Colman as having declined to testify.

“It is noticeable that there has been a remarkable lack of cooperation from others, who were responsible for political decision-taking — to mention a few names: Mr. Enill, Mr. Browne and Mr. Montano in particular — have not offered to come and give evidence,” Sir Anthony said at Winsure Building, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain.

“It is surprising perhaps that those who were the political representatives of the people of Trinidad and Tobago have not been able to provide assistance to the Commission in circumstances where it might have been expected of them,” he added.

“Colman chides 3 ex-ministers.” Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. October 23 2012.

Colman then named three former Cabinet ministers who had been previously named in testimony at the enquiry in relation to the HCU.

“To mention but a few names Mr (Conrad) Enill, Mr (Mariano) Browne and Mr (Danny) Montano in particular have not co-operated to come and give evidence,” Colman said.

Colman praises Nunez-Tesheira for co-operating.” Trinidad Express Newspapers. October 22, 2012

That refusal to appear before a Commission of Enquiry amounts to a kind of contempt of court, since it is wilful disrespect for a lawful enquiry.  These are PNM Seniors, whose testimonies would have been invaluable in unraveling this series of financial collapses.

Here is why those missing testimonies are so important – Continue reading

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CL Financial bailout, Section 34 scandal: The plot to pervert Parliament

Blind Man’s Bluff

by Afra Raymond

“Blind man’s buff  [or Blind man’s bluff] is played in a spacious area, such as outdoors or in a large room, in which one player, designated as “It”, is blindfolded and gropes around attempting to touch the other players without being able to see them, while the other players scatter and try to avoid the person who is “it”, hiding in plain sight and sometimes teasing them to make them change direction.”

… from Wikipedia

In this round, we, The Public, are ‘it’…you see?

The entire ‘section 34 fiasco’ is churning in my mind, so I am calling it the Plot to Pervert Parliament.

The way in which the Trinidad and Tobago, its significant institutions and its legislature have been misled for the benefit of political financiers has given me pause.  The entire episode is truly revolting, even for those of us who have little faith in our political rulers.

Having listened to the PM’s address on this S.34 fiasco there are now more questions than answers.  The silence by the PM and other leading MPs on these documented facts during the Parliamentary debate on the repeal seems to amount to a calculated decision to withhold information.

The main questions for the PM are along two limbs – firstly, how does the AG’s absence overseas for a few days exonerate him?  We need to stay with this line, given that it is the principal one advanced by the PM after her research into the issue.

Secondly, there is the burning question of what is Volney’s true role in all this?  Did the PM ask him why he misled his Cabinet colleagues and the Parliament?  If so, what did Volney say?  If the PM did not ask Volney for his reasons, one has to be deeply skeptical about the idea that this single Minister outwitted the entire Cabinet.

The fact that this episode centred on the actual 50th Jubilee weekend was a powerful wake-up call to us all.  History is rich in irony.

Sidebar – Was S.34 the first time?

I am now recalling that the CLF bailout and shareholders agreement were never debated, they were both declared as fait accompli. What is more, as I wrote in this space recently, the Ministry of Finance is claiming that the contents of the presentation to Members of Parliament on the new bailout laws is secret. The S.34 fiasco involved an alleged stealing of $1Bn in Public Money and we are all now seeing the extent to which these white-collar criminals and their servants will go to cover their tracks. It is truly revolting.

So, the question is ‘‘Given what we now know and the fact that the CLF bailout involves many billions of dollars in Public Money, is it reasonable to assume in good faith that our Parliamentarians and Public Officials will be responsible and honest in their dealings?” I will be returning to this, it is turning in my mind.

For my part, there is no way we are lightly ‘moving on’ from this tragic place…this is the occasion to resolve a lot of this nonsense and put us on the road to a much improved system of governance. It is going to be a hard campaign, but we must have a realistic appreciation of our situation if we are to have any chance at prevailing. Continue reading

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

Prime Minister Stuart won’t talk about this Clico issue…

Leroy Parris and good friend Finance Minister Chris Sinckler share champagne

The DLP protect Leroy Parris because they have to… or else!

Had former Prime Minister David Thompson lived to lead the Democratic Labour Party into the coming election, it would have been a very messy fight indeed… because Thompson was Clico’s lawyer when so much wrongdoing happened, and he knew about many contentious activities.

“It gets worse, much worse. Former PM David Thompson was in the thick of it in August 2007, prior to being elected. Thompson’s law firm took 4% of the purchase of CLICO’s new business jet for ‘legal fees’. We told you so, folks. We told you.”

… from BFP’s Former PM David Thompson law firm money-laundered millions from CLICO to Parris: How much came back to Thompson & DLP?

Voters remember that it was David Thompson who during the 2007-2008 election campaign voiced the DLP’s promise to bring integrity to government, and transparency in the government’s dealings in every area. He promised new laws and government rules to stop the abuses. It was David Thompson who held up a campaign cheque for $75,000 that Owen Arthur illegally deposited into his own personal bank account. Arthur stole that money from the BLP election coffers and Thompson proved it to Bajans and the world. (No one asked where Thompson got the cheque – it was, of course, stolen from banking records by a DLP supporter!)

So Thompson and the DLP were elected to provide integrity legislation, freedom of information, conflict of interest rules and to generally clean up what had become a government and civil service rotten to the core with corruption, injustice and nepotism.

PM Thompson Says His Use Of CLICO’s Business Jet Is None Of Your Business

Clico perks were cheap for the DLP, expensive for policyholders

Unfortunately though, it was also David Thompson who (once elected) spent days on end enjoying perks from his friends at CL Financial, including free business jet use. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Politics

Winston Dookeran, former Trinidad Minister of Finance: CLICO funded CL Financial’s disasterous expansion.

PM Thompson promised Freedom of Information laws within 100 days of election. He lied.

David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer

Leroy Parris and David Thompson: partners in raping Bajan policy holders

Former Minister of Finance, Winston Dookeran, has often shied away from controversy in his long political career. But in an explosive affidavit in response to a lawsuit against the Government’s handling of the Clico affair, brought by his former Cabinet colleague, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Dookeran makes some astonishing revelations, including:

• It may take a further $21 billion to resolve the Clico issue;
• Why Clico’s assets could not have been sold in 2009 and 2010

From Dookeran’s affidavit… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

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

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