Lovell Appeals To Governor General To Establish A Committee To Investigate Customs Fraud

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Lovell

In a planned meeting yesterday, United Progressive Party (UPP), Political Leader Harold Lovell appealed to Governor General Sir Rodney Williams to establish a committee to investigate an alleged $3 million Customs Department fraud.

Sir Williams, however, has not yet given any commitment to the request but Lovell says that he expects that “in due course” the Governor General will send his response concerning the establishment of the requested Inquiry.

The meeting took place after the party leader wrote to the Governor General and a number of other officials requesting the setup of an Integrity Commission to investigate the Customs matter.

Among the issues he wants to be investigated are the allegations of “a criminal network that is currently at work,” the shooting of Customs Officer Cornell Benjamin, and “the serious allegations made by the prime minister in relation to the deep-seated and wide-spread corruption at the Customs Department.”

He explained that a Commission is paramount in order to maintain public confidence in the Customs and Excise Department.

“Unlike a regular police investigation, a Commission of Inquiry has the power to subpoena witnesses, to subpoena documents. A commissioner has the powers of a high court Judge; they can commit for contempt. So, it has more force and more power, and therefore we felt the gravity of this situation required that we ought to get to the bottom of it in the most efficient way possible, which we feel is through a Commission of Inquiry.” he explained.

Lovell also reiterated that he was surprised but found it strange that neither Prime Minister Gaston Browne nor the Minister of National Security Steadroy Benjamin has made a clear public statement condemning the shooting and expressing empathy and support for Benjamin.

“We have to make sure that public servants feel safe while carrying out their duties, and do not feel intimidated or terrorized, so I’m really surprised that the government would take this view,” he said.

“Something as important as this, I think it is very sad that neither he, nor the minister of National Security, have said a single word and the only thing that we’ve heard has come from the Chief of Staff [Lionel Hurst]and the government’s main spokesperson; and the only thing that he has had to say is that they would not want to have any name-and-shame, that once whoever it is, or the persons pays back the money, that’s good enough for them,” Lovell added.

Lovell concluded that it would seem that the government has already made up its mind “that this matter will be swept under the carpet,” judging from Hurst’s utterances.

 

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13 COMMENTS

    • Oh my Lovell really knows how to pull out the red koolaid minions. Only when it’ hits you personally or someone in your family you will be calling Lovell to speak up for you

      • People still talking about Red Kool aid? Lovell is washed up,he scares no one,not even the DNA,and for you,well your Shining Armour seem to need some Polishing,lately some serious crap seem to be coming from your Helmet..

    • Having just watched the Al Jazeera undercover investigation called Diplomats for Sale on youtube it certainly makes Harold Lovell and Donald Trump come over as being a whole lot BETTER (and caring about country) than “shameless”. Perhaps you should watch it, and yes Antigua is prominently featured, and then decide WHO is shameless in these islands!! I rest my case!

      • Spencer said “Ashe lied”

        Was he also mentioned in the documentary too?

        What of Lovell’s relation with Odebrecht?

        • How does Baldwin Spencer come into this? So what if Lovell gave legal advice to Odebrecht and gave his client a bill for same (any other lawyer would do the same)…How does that relate to selling diplomatic passports to foreign criminals and pocketing the millions? Also how does that relate to multimillion dollar fraud and theft from Customs (we, the people) and then shooting the investigative Customs officer and all govt. says is they don’t want to name and shame? I suggest you watch the video and take some time to reflect on the Caribbean wide (including Antigua) billion dollar corruption by the leaders that Al Jazeera is exposing.

  1. Leaving aside the red and blue bickering, an independent commission with wide ranging powers to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials and politicians is desperately needed throughout the Caribbean. Perhaps we can ask for the Commonwealths help. The more developed Commonwealth countries all have such bodies ,which routinely uncover corruption. They have not eliminated the problem, but at least they are making a difference.

  2. KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR

    YOU ARE A PERSON WITHOUT REASON . YOU HAVE TOO MUCH HATRED IN YOUR HEART FOR ANTIGUA AND ANTIGUANS . I KNOW YOU HAVE USA PASSPORT THAT IS WHY YOU CHAT SOOOO MUCH NONSENSE ON YOUR PROGRAM EACH NIGHT. AT LEAST YOU ARE NOT HIDING BEHIND THE MOVEMENT ORGANIZATION LIKE CLEON ATHILL , SERPENT AND OTHERS OF THE OBSERVER MEDIA GROUP. YOU WILL BE COMPLAINING FOR AT LEAST NEXT 30 YEARS. SHAME ON YOU.

    • Remember he publicly declared that an Antigua & Barbuda passport is of NO VALUE TO HIM because he has an American passport and America doesn’t recognize dual citizenship. No wonder he cries down this country so much because his heart is with Trump.

  3. HYPOCRISY

    I ENDORSED EVERYTHING YOU JUST MENTIONED. KNIGHT IS A THREE DOLLAR BILL. HE USES THE MEDIA TO CHAT STUPIDNESS.CANNOT WAIT FOR HIM TO RECEIVE A LAWSUIT. A LAWSUIT IS IN THE MAKING FOR KNIGHT. I HAVE GOOD SOURCE.

  4. KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR

    I listened your show tonight . I thought at one moment that you would walk out the studio . Knight and Serpent sounded very FRUSTRATED that Antiguans are not taking Them serious . The RHETORIC that They have been preaching over the years now finally caught up with THEM. Them FLOP FLOP. Pointe Fm 99.1 is the Station to listen for Proper reporting. Not the RHETORIC at OBSERVER.

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