National Security Minister Jack Warner has denied he is being investigated by the United States Internal Revenue Services (IRS) over his purchase of the João Havelange Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Speaking to reporters at the launch of an agricultural field ranger squad at Carlsen Field, Chaguanas, yesterday, Warner said he did not know why people were trying to undermine him. He said the allegations against him had no basis. Asked to respond to a Wired868 report which quoted Concacaf president, Jeffrey Webb, as confirming the IRS accounting firm, BDO International, and global legal company Sidley Austin LLP were investigating him, Warner said he was not aware of that. He added: "That is so foolish that I don't care to comment on this. I am not aware of the IRS investigating or anybody investigating me. Not because we are a small country we are going to listen to that stupidity. I am sad that we are allowing ourselves to be the laughing stock of the world."
He also took a jab at COP's vice chairman Vernon de Lima, who moved a motion on Sunday to have Warner removed from Cabinet. Warner said: "I find it very strange because I don't know anybody in the last few years who have been exposed in the media as Warner. "Everyone wants Warner to be move so ask yourself why. I have never faced a court or have enquiry against me. Nobody has accused me, I never take money from anybody pocket and I have no allegations of any kind." He said some lawyers did not want him to bring down crime because they would lose business. "Some people seem to be very frightened. There are lawyers who feel their business will be affected if crime goes down. We have guys who were in politics who are money-launderers," he added. On crime in Laventille, Warner said an anti-crime package already had been completed and would be sent to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar this week.
He was confident despite the recent murders the crime situation would be rectified. He added: "I remain optimistic crime will be reduced considerably. We will make a dent in crime. I am not going to be pessimistic. At the end of the day I will give the assurance that we will have active measures to reduce crime." The Wired 868 report, written by Lasana Liburd, a freelance journalist, said global legal company, Sidley Austin LLP, was reviewing the matter to determine if the confederation had any legal right to the Centre of Excellence and whether there were any loans or guarantees taken out on Concacaf property. It said the Concacaf executive was due to receive a report on those investigations at an extraordinary congress this month but Webb claimed the scale of the operation had forced a postponement until the first quarter of next year.