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Investigation launched into fraudulent bank statement

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The Unity Labour Party (ULP) says a thorough investigation has been launched into the circulation online of a fraudulent document which alleges that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is the holder of a HSBC Swiss bank account with a balance, in 2012, of US$19 million.{{more}}

A release issued by the ULP on Sunday said that the document circulating on the Internet contains an account number that does not exist at HSBC Bank and this can be verified by the bank itself and can also be independently verified online.

“The IBAN bank account check confirms that the bank account number on the fraudulent document does not exist. It is not an HSBC bank account, adding to the evidence that the document is a fraud,” said the ULP release.

Commenting on the document last Sunday during a rally at the Argyle International Airport, Gonsalves said that the people who fabricated the document are from St Vincent, Grenada and Europe.

He noted that it is illegal under American, French, Swiss, European Union and Vincentian law to fabricate documents and make slanderous and untrue allegations against individuals.

“I have responded swiftly and robustly on this, because this is a matter that touches on good governance and goes to the heart of good governance,” said the political leader, who is of the opinion that the document was fabricated by persons close to the New Democratic Party (NDP).

“…. So they (the NDP) have failed with austerity, race and comess and today they failed with corruption allegations…. They sit down in a room and they think up these things and they put them together. It sound nice to them, pea-brained individuals,” said Gonsalves adding, “I am responding to them on your behalf in a compelling and mature manner.”

The Prime Minister said that he has instructed the attorney general Judith Jones-Morgan to contact the government of the United States under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to investigate to find who fabricated the document which tried to link him to the money and an address in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Commissioner of Police Michael Charles has also been instructed to open a criminal investigation into the document locally and this investigation includes any regional or international operatives currently working in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Commissioner has also been instructed to immediately contact INTERPOL, the Regional Security System and the Joint Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre of IMPACS to assist in the investigation. The Commissioner has also been instructed to alert the Director of Public Prosecutions of these investigations.

A letter has also been sent to the Federal Department of Justice and Police and the Federal Office of Justice Mutual Assistance Unit in Switzerland.

Gonsalves said that he is seeking the assistance of the Americans and the Swiss, “to get to the bottom of this criminal conspiracy against the Comrade,” while he has also informed the French authorities of the document, as the document mentions the name of a French man.

“I know what the NDP will say; they will deny it; they will deny paternity and they will deny maternity to that document, but I will tell you why they will find it difficult to deny paternity and maternity.

“…Several weeks now there is a fellow on NDP platform; he is saying that Ralph go through Panama every month to launder money. He didn’t say Ralph; he say a high ULP official, but when he talk everybody know he talking about Ralph.”

Gonsalves also called on NDP leader Arnhim Eustace to deny that he told persons that he (Gonsalves) goes to Panama to launder money.

“Eustace, I am telling you, deny this one, there are business people to whom you went trying to raise money and one of the things you told them bad about me is that I go down Panama and launder money and if you win you will investigate that…and the people come back and tell me, because they know what you said ain’t the truth,” shouted Gonsalves on Sunday.

He said that the NDP have, for some time now, been “laying the basis of this notorious lie through their propaganda machinery.”

Stating that he is not saying Eustace fabricated or circulated the document, Gonsalves declared that the document is “the child of the NDP, because the NDP was involved in laying propaganda and when the story comes out, the story connects with their propaganda.”

He said that other leaders in the region, like Roosevelt Skerrit and Keith Mitchell, have been accused of similar dealings.

“You have some people around the NDP, they have retarded development, some of them, and I am telling you this, I expected them to be desperate and even get more desperate. They hate Ralph so much they want to tear up me flesh, metaphorically and literally, if they get half a chance,” said Gonsalves.

He added that he has also spoken to the number two person in command of the US Embassy in Barbados and told her about the mutual legal assistance treaty request.

“I don’t have any account there. To tell you the truth, I wish if I had 19 million dollars US, because you know I would nice up all aryo,” said Gonsalves to cheers from the crowd.

“It is a despicable lie,” he stressed.

In his delivery to the people, Gonsalves sad that Vincentians have come to a settled conviction that they do not want a change of government and they are impatient with anything and anybody who wants to come between them and the necessary and desirable victory for ULP to continue progress.

He noted that the election is not about the ULP, but about a united people that has a settled determination that they do not want the NDP to govern.(LC)

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