Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must name the three People’s National Movement (PNM) people allegedly involved in the Drugs Sou Sou (DSS) matter and say if his name was called in evidence in the ongoing investigation – and whether DSS gave the PNM money for the August 10 General Election.
United National Congress’ Wade Mark issued the challenge to Rowley yesterday when Mark spoke in the Senate’s 2021 Budget debate.
Mark also alleged a scam was occurring with Government’s LED bulb distribution plan. He sought answers on whether Government is squeezing out gas station dealers in the sale of those assets and plans selling them to the main concessionaire at gas stations – Prestige Holdings Limited – which is owned by Government Roadmap Recovery team member Christian Mouttet.
On the DSS matter, Mark said, “People are asking, why is the Prime Minister acting in such a haste to take control of the DSS investigation? Why was the Commissioner of Police sent on leave at a critical time of the DSS investigation, after he not long ago publicly stated he will not be proceeding on leave during this critical phase of the DSS investigation?
“Can the Prime Minister state who were the three PNM politicians allegedly involved in the Drugs Sou Sou? Can he state whether his name was called in the evidence given to the police in this money laundering scheme? Is the Prime Minister investigating himself?
He even questioned if the DSS is a slush fund established by the PNM to bribe the public before they went to the polls.
“We were informed that mere weeks before the 2020 General Elections, money was allegedly given to members of the DSS by politicians in the PNM in exchange for votes on election day. If this is so, is this the reason why the Prime Minister is acting in such a haste to take control of this investigation, which does not involve a state of emergency or coup? Under what section of the law is he doing this?
“Why is the Prime Minister getting involved in an investigation involving politicians from his very own party and Government? This is absolutely dangerous and untenable.”
Contacted yesterday, however, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the Police Service has no intelligence on any sitting member of Government being a person of interest in the ongoing DSS investigation.
“Up to the time of my departure and whilst I am briefed daily, we have no intelligence of any sitting Government MP involved in this investigation,” Griffith responded via WhatsApp.
Despite not being in the country at this time, Griffith said he is briefed daily on the investigation.
“I was the person who launched the investigation, I have numerous informants inside and outside of the Police Service and even when the initial operation took place it came from my informants, so yes I have received lots of information from different places but there is a difference between information and intelligence,” Griffith added, saying usually he would not comment on any ongoing investigation.
Guardian Media asked if any former member of parliament is therefore being investigated but Griffith declined to answer.
Meanwhile, People’s National Movement general secretary Foster Cummings said if Mark has intelligence as he claims, then he is experienced enough to know where he should take that information.
“This is just a red herring by the Opposition to deflect attention away from their consistent failure at the polls and their poor performance in the Parliament during the Budget debate,” Cummings told Guardian Media.
However, Cummings said the UNC has some questions to answer as well.
“The senator and his party should tell us how they were able to fund such extravagant giveaways in La Horquetta in the lead-up to the elections.”