Phillips calls on PM to have CMU hand over documents requested by FID


Phillips calls on PM to have CMU hand over documents requested by FID

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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OPPOSITION Leader Dr Peter Phillips is urging Prime Minister Andrew Holness to immediately instruct the leadership of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) to hand over all the requested documents to the police and the Financial Investigations Division (FID), which are probing allegations of fraud at the institution.

Following a report that the CMU and some of its senior officers have hired lawyers to challenge the basis on which the FID obtained court orders for the documents to be handed over, Phillips, in a release, said this was unacceptable.

He argued that the CMU, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education, over which the Office of the Prime Minister has direct responsibility, is a public body and any effort to thwart the investigations by the FID must be immediately shutdown as the Government cannot appear to be involved in a cover-up.

“It reflects a pattern that has disturbing implications for governance and for our country's fight against corruption,” said Phillips.

According to the Opposition leader, the committees of the House of Parliament have uncovered the fact that there has been a pattern of diversion of public funds through the CMU and both the police and the FID have indicated that there is an active investigation with the likelihood of senior government officials involved in corrupt activities.

“This is a government agency that the prime minister himself oversees, that has taken steps to prevent an investigation by the State, in relation to large-scale corruption involving millions of taxpayers' money. This is scandalous, and every well-thinking Jamaica must be outraged that this is happening in our country,” added Phillips.

He added that, “the prime minister needs to immediately instruct the release of the documents and those who were blocking the investigations must be sanctioned”.

The FID is probing alleged acts of corruption at the education ministry and its agencies.

Holness had requested the resignation of then Education Minister Ruel Reid as news of the alleged acts of corruption were made public, but to date the prime minister has provided no details on the factors which caused him to make the decision.

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