Taken by surprise!
That’s how Oropouche East MP Dr responded to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who in a press release yesterday, insisted that “no politician can direct what probe the police must conduct.”
Griffith was referring to Moonilal, who in a T&T Guardian article on Thursday, headlined, “I asked for a probe of wire transfer, not bank account.”
The article spoke about a wire transfer matter which Moonilal raised in Parliament in October 2018 that linked Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to A&V Drilling Company which he stated was far from over, as Fraud Squad officers were still conducting an investigation into the case.
Moonilal said this based on the communications he had with the Fraud Squad on April 16 and their request to have him sign a statement about the wire transfer in the presence of his attorney Israel Khan once the Stay-at-Home order has been lifted which gave him the impression that the matter was being vigorously persued by the T&T Police Service.
In the article, Moonilal noted what the police had conducted was an investigation into a “bank account” reported by Rowley in which no evidence was found that led to the closure of the case.
But Griffith made it abundantly clear to Moonilal that as far as the police are concerned, the case which he brought into the public domain two years ago was closed.
Griffith pointed out that when a search is done with respect to financial transactions it takes into account all transactions, stating that wire transfer carry both the originator and beneficiary’s account information.
“So to say one was only looking at bank accounts and not wire transfer is incomprehensible,” Griffith said.
The Opposition MP said he had no idea that the wire transfer matter had ended until he read Griffith’s release.
He said, “I was taken aback. I was taken by surprise. But that is their right if they believe they have reached a brick wall and there is nothing else to do and nothing else to find, then so be it.”
Moonilal said he spoke to Khan on the closure of the case, stating that he too was taken aback.
“We were planning to meet Fraud Squad next week to sign the statement. I did not report the wire transfer matter to the police. It was Dr Rowley who asked the police to investigate and they came to me. They asked me to cooperate which is what I did. So the police owe me no duty to inform me of anything,” he said.
Moonilal said he agreed fully with Griffith that “no politician should be directing the police how to do their work or ought to get involve in an investigation. But that does not stop me.”
On his end, Moonilal said the wire transfer matter was far from over.
“It is not over at all. I am not going to pursue it with the TTPS any further but if more information comes to hand I will deal with it again. There are persons outside of T&T making inquiries.”
He said a lot of the work and inquiries involving the matter had to be stopped because of the global pandemic as offices in the US continue to remain closed.
“The persons outside of Washington in particular and in Florida their work was held up because of the virus. I imagine in weeks or months again we may have more information on things.”