The EC$10, 000.00 “gift” from the Chinese investor linked to the Mt Hartman multi-million dollar project has just brought to light and in the wide open something that has been happening for several years.
The Chinese are noted for giving lavish gifts – whether in the form of a goodwill gesture or bribe – as part of their custom in their dealings with foreigners especially from the West.
THE NEW TODAY is not convinced that an investigation into the “gift” to the new CBI passport czar Richard Duncan and the Grenada Citizenship By Investment Commission will reach very far and bear any worthwhile fruits as it would be extremely difficult to prove that bribery was the intent.
There is no evidence that the Chinese investor was offering a bribe and neither can Mr. Duncan or the CBI office provide any evidence that can stand up in a court of law that a bribe was offered.
Businessmen from the West also hand out large envelopes and paper bags to specific targets in order to achieve their objectives but will never admit that it is a bribe but concede that it was “a token of appreciation” for what was granted to them.
Even in the last election, both sides of the political fence did receive financial assistance from those who were never genuine givers but had intentions such as landing ambassadorial jobs.
It makes sense for all parties – Grenada and the Chinese – to move forward and be cautious in their dealings in the current dispensation.
It is quite possible that elements of the last regime did receive and collect similar gifts from the Chinese but the current lot in office as demonstrated by Richard Duncan is reluctant to travel along that road.
The other important question is – prior to the change of government on June 23, has anyone within the CBI Commission or even at the level of the so-called Integrity Commission received such lavish gifts from the Chinese?
This EC$10, 000.00 “gift” pales into significance to the US$1 million “gift” that was given to a so-called foundation by a big player in the 2003-08 government of the New National Party (NNP) from a Chinese business when then Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell dumped Taiwan in favour of diplomatic relations with Mainland China.
The Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration of 2008-13 did lay its hands on several documents about this deal that could be interpreted as an inducement bribe in severing relations between St George’s and Taipei.
Information also came out from certain quarters within the NNP set-up that the then ruling party did receive a massive injection of funds through a particular government minister who is no longer around as part of the handsome pay back by the Chinese and did not pass it on but pocketed all the money.
All this can fall into the category of alleged bribery.
Does anyone know what the high-up in the NNP did with the US$1 million which was also an alleged “bribe” in order to entice the individual to help make the decision to break off ties with Taiwan?
THE NEW TODAY holds strongly to the position that the new leadership in Grenada should concentrate their efforts on finding the EC$54.2 million dollars collected by the foreign investor under the former NNP regime in the missing Shrimp farm fiasco.
The defeated NNP leader did promise an investigation into the millions that went missing but no one has heard anything about this probe.
The modus operandi of Dr. Keith Mitchell over the years is to announce that an investigation will be conducted into anything that is murky and affects his government but nothing comes out of it.
It is doubtful that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) or the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) did any serious investigation into the missing EC$54.2 million in the shrimp farm saga.
THE NEW TODAY would like to see the new government go after the situation with our oil and gas with the Russian outfit known as GPG than waste time on this small EC$10, 000.00 “gift” to Richard Duncan and the CBI people.
The Russian deal should be unlocked as that involves the potential of billions of dollars in natural gas resources to the local Treasury.
THE NEW TODAY has never been impressed by the working of the so-called Integrity Commission that was set up under former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell in which female Guyanese attorney-at-law Anande Trotman-Joseph emerged as the head.
The head is too close to former NNP Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dr. Lawrence Joseph for comfort as she can be categorised as too “politically exposed” for comfort.
It was the same Dr. Joseph who was allegedly offering advice to Keith Mitchell to challenge the decision of high court judge Justice Raulston Glasgow that provided the legal basis for public officers to now start receiving pension payments after a battle lasting more than 35 years.
Let’s put meaning into transformation in 2023 in the national interest and concentrate on looking at the fruits that can bring prosperity to the nation.
THE NEW TODAY wishes one and all a HAPPY AND HEALTHY New Year 2023.