Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith yesterday announced the investigation into accusations made by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley benefited from a financial transaction connected to A&V Drilling in Florida was now officially closed.
But even as he made the comment, Griffith made it clear the T&T Police Service was not obligated to give the final reports on these matters. He also reminded citizens that as an independent organisation, “all our investigations will be independent and impartial.”
Speaking during yesterday’s weekly media briefing at the TTPS Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain,” Griffith said
“We have seen that most of these high-profiled investigations are usually political, which means at times about half of the country may not be pleased with the results or findings. But as I said, we are not here to please anyone. And if we do not like the results, if you don’t like the findings well… that’s your problem. Not ours. We are here to do a job.”
He said while the police do not have an obligation to give final reports on these investigations, they would do what is required to resolve all high-profile cases.
Addressing the case, acting Supt Wendell Lucas, of the Financial Investigations Branch, said the police sought the assistance of stakeholders in the Financial Intelligence Unit and foreign investigation units and could not find evidence to prove Moonilal’s claim.
During his contribution in the 2018 budget debate, Moonilal had claimed he travelled to Miami, visiting banking institutions where he subsequently retained emails and documents which allegedly revealed Rowley had benefited from a transaction there. Moonilal called out banking account numbers and named Rowley and former People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for Siparia, Vidya Deokiesingh, in the matter.
At the time, Deokiesingh had been involved in the fake oil scandal which saw Petrotrin pay $100 million for oil it never received from A&V Drilling. He was fired from Petrotrin after a lengthy investigation.
Rowley at the time denied the claim, noting he did not have any foreign bank account and instructing his lawyer to sue Moonilal after he repeated the comments outside of Parliament. The PM also wrote to Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Susan Francois, requesting an investigation.
Yesterday, Lucas said, “Having gathered that there is no connection between the two parties, we spoke to the commissioner, and he is of the view that pending any further or new information … that this matter should be closed.
“On our last meeting with the FIU, we were advised that there were no identifiable transactions relative to the account of subject one, from the account of subject two, for the period that was examined.”
Commenting on the matter via text message yesterday, Rowley said he had already told the Parliament that Moonilal was not telling the truth.
“I told my lawyer to sue him after he came outside the Parliament and affirmed his slander. My lawyer has filed the suit against him so we will complete this saga in the courts of T&T,” Rowley said.