Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will join world leaders next month at an anti-corruption conference in London scheduled to discuss the issue of beneficial ownership of trusts and the need for declaration of who really owns the companies in such situations.
In announcing Rowley's trip to the UK yesterday, Minister in the Attorney General's Office/Legal Affairs, Stuart Young, said those international discussions would fit quite appropriately with the leaked revelations of the "Panama Papers" now making headlines across the world.
Leaked documents from Panama's Mossak Fonseca law firm have caused global waves by spotlighting offshore holdings of past and present world leaders, business people, sports and other personalities in over 200 territories for the past 30 years.
Documents also allegedly chronicle operations of onetime United National Congress official and former CEO of the Warner Group of Companies, Ken Emrith.
The London conference, which British Prime Minister David Cameron last year invited Rowley to attend, will be one of several engagements Rowley has overseas over May 2-14, when he undertakes security, anti-corruption and energy-related trips to the US, Ghana and London respectively.
At yesterday's post-Cabinet media conference, Young said the PM would leave on May 2, leading a Caricom delegation which has been invited to a Washington, USA, energy and security conference from May 3- 4, which will be hosted by US Vice-President Joe Biden.
Rowley then heads to New York on May 4 for an annual awards function at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York on May 5. The college's student population is 23 per cent T&T.
On May 7, Rowley crosses to the UK to continue hydro-carbon discussions with BP CEO Robert Dudley.
The PM then leaves on May 8 for an official state visit, until May 11, to Ghana, on the invitation of Ghana's President, John Dramani Mahama, who had invited Rowley when both leaders attended last year's Commonwealth Leaders' Summit.
The Ghana agenda includes bilateral talks on investment, institutional co-operation, governance, transfer of technology and exploration of energy investment-sharing and how T&T can assist Ghana.
Young said a local private sector delegation, being worked out, would accompany Rowley. He noted Republic Bank had Ghana investments.
Rowley's final stop is London for the May 12 anti-corruption summit, hosted by British PM David Cameron, whom Young said had personally invited Rowley when both attended the 2015 CHOGM.
Young said that conference would make it easier for the flow of information needed to combat international corruption. On May 13, Young said T&T would meet heads of anti-corruption units.
Young, who will accompany the PM to this conference, said the summit came at an interesting period considering what was unfolding on the international stage concerning corruption.
Saying the Panama Papers' revelations concerning T&T nationals had come to Government's attention, he added: "Government is looking on keenly, (but) law enforcement really are the ones that have to take up the investigations with respect to this.
"And it is very fresh and it is very new but certain conversations can and should take place as to how we can assist law enforcement in dealing with any investigations."
Young said costs for the PM's two-week trips were being worked out but noted that the mission was justified since Government had to take steps to see what could be done outside of T&T and pursue security, energy-related and anti-corruption matters. He said a projected China trip by the PM was not yet in the works but was not "off the table."
Dillon looksat cops'compensation
Young added yesterday National Security Minister Edmund Dillon had been mandated to examine the former PP administration's promise to pay $1 million in compensation to police officers killed in the line of duty, since the PP had not left any mechanism in place to implement that.
He was commenting on queries over whether such monies would be paid to the family of PC Anson Benjamin, who died yesterday after being shot while responding to a trouble call in Ste Madeleine on Saturday.
Young said Dillon would give his recommendations on the proposal to Government.