January 19, 2022

OPINION: Were they sharing out donations belonging to the Unity Labour Party?

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By Jolly Green

A report about the money taken to banks by the Gonsalves family and friends by I-Witness News 24 November 2009 reported that Ralph Gonsalves said there was nothing wrong with members of the prime minister’s family and high ranking officials of his party selling thousands of US dollars to the state bank in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) over the prior month. That was the word from the country’s Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to reporters that week.

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“Nothing wrong has been done! Nothing!” Gonsalves said.

A flickr account that week displayed sections of documents purported to show the sale of US Dollars transactions to the NCB by members of Gonsalves’ family, including his Wife Eloise Gonsalves, daughter Isis Gonsalves and his son Storm Gonsalves. The document also recorded transaction allegedly made by other high ranking members of Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP), including president of Unity Youth Rosette Bennet and Senator Saboto Ceasar.

The NDP party said that Gonsalves seemed to suggest that the money came from individual donations from Vincentians, totalling US$1m and donated at the same time by the ULP. But the one million in US currency was just that US currency, so if it was donated by supporters it must have been donated by the Vincentians in the US Diaspora.

To this very day we never found out how that bag full of US dollars got into Kingstown, who carried it in and if it was declared. But if it was donations what were they doing having a big share out, how was it carved up, and who actually got a share of it and why? Why did the whole Vincentian Gonsalves family get a share, wife and children and all sorts of other people.

At around the same time or shortly before a million US dollars was presented at the National Commercial Bank by a ULP senator with a request to exchange it for EC dollars. The bank refused to make the transaction and it was collected. Was this another million US dollars or was it the same lot that was shared out? The bank failed to report it to the financial authorities, why?

Despite Gonsalves being asked the NDP said that Gonsalves, who is also minister of Finance, did not say why a Suspicious Activity Report was not filed by the bank for “such an astonishingly unusual cash payment”, or why the ULP neither announced nor celebrated “such a huge amount of supposed small individual donations”.

There is a US requirement to declare any sum over $10,000 US dollars when leaving the US. There is no limit on how much US cash you export as long as you declare it. Was it declared when leaving the US?

SVG customs require notification of any amount of currency entering SVG over $10,000 dollars or the equivalent thereof in other currencies. I am not sure if that is US or Eastern Caribbean Dollars.

Was it declared anywhere? Was it carried in a diplomatic bag? Or thinking the worst because of lack of information during the last eight years was it a present from a foreign government, Cuba, Venezuela, Taiwan? I have to ask because we have never had a real answer to the original questions.

Worse still why did they share it out among themselves? Shared it even with family.

Time is longer than twine, Gonsalves once stated that Vincentians only have a nine day information retention span, but not me comrade. And now not the readers either.

It’s time comrade, it’s time.

Jolly Green

END

DISCLAMER: The opinion, belief and viewpoint expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoint of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com or official policies of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com

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