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Sir Ronald Sanders named ‘person of interest’ by Antigua police


Antigua and Barbuda’s former high commissioner to the United Kingdom Ronald Sanders was on Tuesday named by Antigua police as “a person of interest”{{more}} in the Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) Co Ltd Japan multimillion dollar fraud scandal dating back to the 1990s.

The Antigua Observer reports that the appeal for Sanders to present himself for questioning comes two weeks after police announced the “brazen” theft of the files of the case that were housed in the High Court.

Police are now reconstituting the criminal file.

The IHI probe examines whether and/or how several individuals allegedly funneled US $14 million into their pockets from government coffers masked as loan repayment installments to IHI, which financed the construction of a desalination plant in the twin island, the Antigua Observer said.

Lead investigator in the Criminal Investigations Department, Detective Superintendent Nuffield Burnette, made a request for Sir Ronald, who is a SEARCHLIGHT columnist and a former World Trade Organisation (WTO) ambassador to “present” himself to the police to be interviewed and to co-operate throughout the duration of the probe.

“Most of the significant persons … have already assisted the investigations and presented themselves to the police to be interviewed. Against this backdrop and in the police’s quest to advance this gigantic multimillion dollar criminal conspiracy, the police are making a specific appeal to Sir Ronald Sanders and request that he presents himself to the IHI detectives to be interviewed,” a press statement read.

Lawmen said all efforts to contact Sanders have proved futile thus the urgent appeal for him to make contact with Commissioner Vere Browne.

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted Sir Ronald for comment, he indicated that his lawyer would issue a statement on Thursday.