UNC deputy political leader David Lee and Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal yesterday called on National Security Minister Stuart Young to repeat his comments about links to the criminal underworld and the UNC.
Speaking at the post-budget public forum at Piggott Corner, Belmont on Friday night, Young said there were senior UNC members colluding with criminals. He said he received a report on Friday that officials as high as the deputy political leader as well as senators are contacting criminals and are being told by them who the UNC should present as local government candidates.
There are three UNC deputy political leaders, Lee, Khadijah Ameen and Jearlean John – Ameen and John could not be reached for comment.
“If they are brave enough call my name. They like to sue I will show them who can sue. I dare them to come out and say is me,” Lee said as he vehemently denied that he had any dealings with criminals.
Young told the crowd that “a man with a name that is a day of the week” was hired at the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). Although not he did not call any name, Young was referring to Akido “Sunday” Williams who, last week, was charged with counselling a gang. Williams worked at HDC from 2010 to 2015 as a maintenance manager. During that time, Moonilal was housing minister and John, was the HDC managing director.
Moonilal when contacted yesterday said: “I challenge Stuart Young to call names. When I heard his comments about members of Parliament contacting criminal elements, I thought it was in poor taste because my mind went to Marlene Mc Donald and I thought it was insensitive of him to bring that up.”
McDonald – the PNM Port of Spain South MP – has been charged on public misconduct offences relating to her tenure as a government minister under the Patrick Manning administration.
Senior police yesterday confirmed there is an ongoing investigation into a connection between senior politicians and members of the criminal world.
At Friday night’s meeting, the Prime Minister, in the feature address, said: “I expect them to squeal like stuck pigs but let me tell you something, you may not see the reason but I know the reason why they (UNC) fought so hard against the anti-gang legislation. And now I'm hearing that they are having conversations with known people who have concerns with the police."
Rowley went on to allege that legislation would have shown the links between the UNC and criminals, so much so, that the UNC sought to dismiss the legislation. He added that had it not been for the country demanding that something be done about gangs then the UNC would not have called them back to Parliament to address the legislation.