Trinidad and Tobago: Kamla Persad questions to government on status of FIU probe

The former prime minister asked further whether there is a 'boys club' in the People's National Movement (PNM) which offers protection against wrongdoing.

Trinidad and Tobago: Kamla Persad questions to government on status of FIU probe
Trinidad and Tobago: Kamla Persad questions to government on status of FIU probe

Trinidad and Tobago: Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has questioned whether there is a ‘live’ police investigation into suspicious financial activity involving Government Minister Foster Cummings.

The former prime minister asked further whether there is a ‘boys club’ in the People’s National Movement (PNM) which offers protection against wrongdoing.

Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Monday, Persad-Bissessar said Cummings must be fired from the Cabinet as she called for answers on the status of the investigation.

The Express exclusively reported on Monday that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had flagged a $4.4 million deposit into a Venture Credit Union bank account bearing the name of Cummings for works done by three companies that he was previously associated with-Pical Services Ltd, Cummings and Associates and Rivulet Investment Group.

Cummings told the Express on Monday that the monies were paid into his account to service a $15 million loan that was taken when he had served as chief executive officer (CEO) of one of the companies.

Persad-Bissessar however said until the investigations are closed, Cummings must not sit in the Cabinet.

‘Man, if you no longer in business what this money doing in your account?… It didn’t do into the account of Pical, it didn’t go into the account of Cummings and Associates, it didn’t go into the account of Rivulet Investments, it went into the account of Foster Cummings…,’ she said.

Many questions

Persad-Bissessar noted that the TTPS had written to the Solicitor General requesting services of senior counsel and had indicated that this could be a ‘watershed moment’ as it has the potential to affect all production orders related to white-collar crime.

‘Rowley, where are you? Faris, where are you? You always talk about white-collar crime. Follow the money, follow the production orders,’ she said.

‘I want to ask tonight, did the State provide lawyers for this matter to the TTPS?’ she asked.

‘Did the State defend this matter? ‘What has happened to the production orders since then?

‘What has happened since the decision of Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo?

‘What is the outcome of the investigation into this suspicious financial activity?

‘If that is live TTPS investigation, Foster must leave that Cabinet, he must be fired. Foster must go, he must go now,’ she said.

Justice Waterman-Latchoo last year delivered a ruling which authorised the police to serve production orders on the three companies.

She accused Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his Government of being hypocrites as she re-minded that she fired ministers in her Cabinet who had allegations against them.