National Security Minister Stuart Young has taken a 180-degree turn as it related to his utterances regarding Kerron Clarke, CEO of the Drugs Sou Sou (DSS), being removed from active duty by the Defence Force.
The Minister said Clarke is actually on vacation.
Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday Minister Young initially revealed that action was taken as soon as it was learnt that the DSS founder was a soldier.
“Unfortunately when growing up in school one of the truisms I learnt was one bad apple could spoil the barrel, so as soon as we found out that it was a member of the DSS, the Defence Force took action as they should of and they are following the rule of law and Mr Clarke is now on administrative leave or suspension, “ he said.
However, Clarke’s attorney Sophia Chote SC told the Guardian that her client is actually on vacation which started on October 16 and ends on January 10, 2021.
She denied that any disciplinary action was taken against Clarke as suggested by Minister Young.
“I’ve seen the (vacation) documents myself,” she said.
In clarifying the matter Minister young later told Guardian Media that he was “ informed that Mr Clarke initially applied for leave which was granted and that he was subsequently sent on 83 days leave.”
Guardian Media reached out to the Defence Force Communications Manager for clarification on this matter but only received an acknowledgement of the questions sent.
The DSS gained major national attention when the police raided its La Horquetta headquarters on September 22 and seized a reported 22 million dollars in cash.
The money was later returned to DSS without the knowledge of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
That action led to 4 officers being suspended and 11 others transferred.
However, Minister Young said a lot still needs to be investigated, including the actual amount of money which was removed from DSS.
“Truthfully, right now we are still trying to ascertain how much money was seized, is it 22 million? You are seeing all sorts of figures and that is one area we keep driving with the police, what happened on that event?”
In October Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that he was seeking foreign assistance from Barbados and Britain with the investigation and described the matter as a “cancer that will eat the soul of this nation.”
The foreign investigators have since arrived in this country.
Since then another exercise was conducted on the DSS compound in which $7 million was reportedly confiscated.
On the legality of the DSS, the Minister said while he understands why people want to invest their money in such “schemes” it is impossible to have such a high rate of return.
“There is simply nothing legal and legitimate that will give you a high rate of return,” he added.
He said it is going to collapse at some stage and people will lose their hard-earned money.
Minister Young added that he is not holding back on any resources in probing DSS and other similar entities.