Preliminary findings by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) have all but cleared Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of any wrongdoing in relation to allegations of financial impropriety.
During his contribution to the budget debate on October 9, 2018, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said he visited banking institutions in Miami where he retained emails and documents which revealed Rowley received funds from the A&V Drilling fake oil scandal.
He called out banking account numbers and named Dr Rowley and former People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for Siparia, Vidya Deokiesingh.
At yesterday’s weekly police media briefing, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said when the matter was brought to its attention the TTPS launched an investigation.
He said, “the initial preliminary findings have stated that in regards to the allegation made by that Member of Parliament on the Honourable Prime Minister, the preliminary findings revealed there was no nexus between the subject and the account number identified in that case summary based on the account.”
He went on to say that “there was no identified transaction between the subject and the other subjects identified.”
Head of the TTPS Financial Intelligence Branch Supt (Ag) Wendell Lucas who was also in attendance said the matter is still ongoing and has not been “closed.”
He said the police are still working with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and foreign counterparts to bring finality to the investigation.
He said this should be done in short order.
In response to the TTPS’s revelation Dr Moonilal told Guardian Media that “the TTPS is now initiating contact with me to continue an inquiry, the CoP indicated that there was a “preliminary” finding but also stated that investigations are continuing. I am meeting with the TTPS next week on this matter. I leant that the officer who started the investigation from the Fraud Squad was subsequently suspended from duty...not sure if it was related to this matter. That officer had indicated that attempts to contact me were unfruitful. I also indicated that I can’t recall the TTPS approaching me on this matter. But I am prepared to assist as best I could.”
A day after the allegations were made, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made a statement in the Parliament where he refuted Moonilal’s claims.
“I state here, as I have done already elsewhere, that there is absolutely no truth to what the member for Oropouche East has stated and/or imputed. I have no bank account in Miami, USA; I was not party to any banking transaction with Mr Deokiesingh, Formula One Trading or any person or persons with respect to any bank in Florida, the United States, or any bank in the world for that matter Madame Speaker,” he said.
The Prime Minister also initiated legal action against Moonilal.