Inniss and accomplices should be investigated, says AG
Attorney General, Dale Marshall is of the view the company executives and former Minister, Donville Inniss who have been implicated in money laundering scheme should be investigated by the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).
Responding to questions from the media at a press briefing today, the AG said government cannot directly instruct the Police Commissioner to launch an investigation or bring charges against anyone.
But at the same time, Marshall said he believed the RBPF should not have to wait on a complainant to initiate investigations, adding as long as they have enough evidence to charge those involved, they should do so.
“Any instance where police have information that an offence has been committed I would feel that it is in their remit to investigate and bring charges where appropriate.
I don’t think it fair for the Commissioner of Police to take the attitude that somebody must complain but the fact is that, I don’t want to think of it in terms of somebody complaining, I want to think of it in terms of somebody being a victim.”
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Inniss, was arrested in Florida and charged with a three-count indictment for money laundering which also involved three executives of a local insurance company. The indictment alleges that Inniss accepted US $36,000 from the company executives which includes the Chief Executive Officer, the Senior Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer, in exchange for the The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) renewing insurance contracts with the company.
Marshall went onto say, although there is no complainant as is the case with criminal matters, the victims are Barbadian citizens and this is reason enough to investigate and charge those involved.
“To the extent that monies were involved, paid by the people of Barbados into an insurance company- there is a victim and I don’t think we need to have a complainant in an instance where a crime has been committed.
I believe it is well within the powers of the police so long as the people are within our jurisdiction to bring charges against them.”
In addressing the insurance company at the center of the money laundering allegations and what possible penalties they could face, the Attorney General said there is no need to punish an entire company for the wrong doings of a few.
“We have a major insurance corporation in Barbados that carries most of government’s insurance coverage. It has just been discovered that their officers have been engaged in corrupt practices. How do we justify continuing to place insurance coverage with that company? But at the same time, a large percentage of the shares in that company are owned by Barbadians like you or me and also by the government.”
“Do we say you have done wrong and therefore we are going to yank all of it? Are we going to encourage Barbadians not to insure with that entity? We are not talking about a decision of the entire body but the misguided decision of one or two people.”
During the press conference the AG also revealed the Integrity in Public Life legislation will be going before the Select Committee on August 27 and the discussion is set to be live streamed.
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