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Thursday 21 November 2019
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Police clear Rowley

No link between PM and account

LIGHT TALK: Commissioner Griffith, left, jokes with Sgt Ashraf Ali and Ag Supt Wendell Lucas, right, yesterday after the weekly police press briefing in Port of Spain.  - Jeff Mayers
LIGHT TALK: Commissioner Griffith, left, jokes with Sgt Ashraf Ali and Ag Supt Wendell Lucas, right, yesterday after the weekly police press briefing in Port of Spain. - Jeff Mayers

THE TTPS has found no link between Prime Minister Dr Rowley and a foreign bank account, first revealed by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal during debate in Parliamemt last year.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith revealed the findings of a police investigation during the weekly police press briefing yesterday at police administration building in Port of Spain.

“The initial preliminary findings have stated that in regard to the allegations made by the MP (Dr Moonilal) on the honourable PM revealed no nexus between the subject and the account number identified in that case summary,” Griffith said.

During the 2018 budget debate, Moonilal claimed to have documents including an e-mail, as he sought to link the PM to corrupt dealings via banking transactions done in Florida that involved A&V Drilling company. Rowley referred the matter to the police for investigation.

Head of the Financial Investigation Branch Ag Supt Wendell Lucas, who was also present at the press briefing, said the matter has not been closed and these findings came out of a preliminary investigation. “We are continuing to work with the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) and our foreign counterparts in order to bring closure to this matter,” Lucas said.

Contacted for comment, Moonilal noted that while the statement by Griffith was the result of a preliminary investigation, he remains in awe at the police’s findings since he was never interviewed by the investigator.

“I am at a loss to know how they arrived at a preliminary finding if they didn’t speak with me, collect any documents or ask for any documents,” Moonilal said.

He denied allegations that he was unwilling to co-operate with police and believes a sinister motive was behind the police’s findings.

“Until yesterday (Tuesday) I was never contacted or written to, to assist with this matter. I am shocked to find out that someone said they tried to contact me and could not. I am a public figure and easy to find.

“Now that I have been contacted, arrangements have been made with the investigating units to meet early next week,” Moonilal said.

He also alleged that a member of the Fraud Squad has been passing on information to the office of the Attorney General, which he said, has no remit over such matters.

Moonilal said the issue raised against the PM centred on a wire transfer and not him (Rowley) having foreign bank accounts. “At no time was Dr Rowley accused of having foreign bank accounts. The matter was concerning one specific wire transfer,” Moonilal said. The police’s attempt to bring closure to this matter is welcomed, he said. Attempts to reach Rowley for a comment proved futile.

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