FOUNDER of DSS Kerron Clarke is currently on 83 days leave from the Defence Force following his legal hurdles with police.
Speaking on CNC3’s Morning Brew on Wednesday, National Security Minister Stuart Young said Clarke was sent on leave.
“Unfortunately growing up in school I learnt that one of the truism is one bad apple can spoil the barrel so as soon as we found out the Defence Force took action as they should have, and they are following the rule of law. Mr Clarke is now on administrative leave or suspension.”
Newsday was told subsequently that Clarke was granted leave by his superiors after applying on October 16 and was not sent on any administrative leave. Four police officers have been suspended as investigations into the pyramid scheme continues while an additional 11 were transferred out of the Northern Division.
Clarke’s DSS operations were forcibly put on pause after police raided his home last month and seized $6.4 million which they claim are proceeds of crime and could be detained for three months. That came weeks after $22 million was seized and returned within hours, much to the annoyance of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
The Prime Minister and Head of the National Security Council has since labelled DSS as a cancer, one that needs the intervention of police officers from Barbados and the UK.
Asked what offences that Clarke and by extension DSS committed, Young did not say adding that based on his “training” as a civil attorney, he shared his opinions with the necessary partners in the National Security Council. He also mentioned that he worked closely on the investigations into the collapse of Hindu Credit Union and CL Financial, two schemes that cost TT billions in bailout and subsequent litigation.
“As National Security Minister this is very concerning. It is a frightening event that took place and goes to the belly of what may be taking place in various sectors out there.”
Young added that the demonetisation of the cotton-based $100 bill to polymer was done to hit at money laundering. He added that some $500 million dollars did not return to the system following the exchange.
“This really rattled us at the core in National Security. A lot of effort has been placed on it. The police have been driving the investigation and getting full support from Defence Force. It is premature to say much more apart from saying we are not holding back resources from pursuing these types of schemes. It’s not only DSS.”
He added that there is nothing legal that gives such a high rate of return. A legitimate return of over 10 per cent is “very few and far between” he said.