Moonilal questions Petrotrin purchase

Oropouche East MP Roodal Mooni­lal wants to know if there is third par­ty ma­nip­u­la­tion of the Oil­field Work­ers’ Trade Union’s (OW­TU) re­cent ac­qui­si­tion of the Pointe-a-Pierre oil re­fin­ery.

In his con­tri­bu­tion to the Bud­get de­bate yes­ter­day, the Op­po­si­tion MP raised ques­tions about who fa­cil­i­tat­ed a meet­ing be­tween CEO of Sun­stone Eq­ui­ties John Van Dyke and mem­bers of the union.

 

Last year, Van Dyk sat along­side OW­TU pres­i­dent gen­er­al An­cel Ro­get at a press con­fer­ence at the Radis­son Ho­tel in Port-of-Spain as the union launched its first at­tempt to buy the re­fin­ery. At that event, Van Dyke, who was rep­re­sent­ing Sun­stone Eq­ui­ties, de­scribed the re­fin­ery as “very vi­able.” Sun­stone Eq­ui­ties had al­so helped the OW­TU with its pro­pos­als to ac­quire the re­fin­ery fol­low­ing the clo­sure of Petrotrin.

The OW­TU was of­fi­cial­ly an­nounced as buy­ers of the re­fin­ery last month by Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Colm Im­bert.

How­ev­er, yes­ter­day, Mooni­lal said it ap­peared that Van Dyke was brought to meet with the OW­TU con­cern­ing the re­fin­ery by Vidya De­ok­iesingh.

“Mr John Van Dyke came to Trinidad to find and be in the com­pa­ny of Mr Vidya De­ok­iesingh. Mr Vidya De­ok­iesingh brought him here to have meet­ings con­cern­ing busi­ness with stake­hold­ers vis­it­ing a con­trac­tor in Pe­nal,” Mooni­lal said.

 

De­ok­iesingh, a for­mer Petrotrin em­ploy­ee and Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment can­di­date, was named by Mooni­lal last year dur­ing the bud­get de­bate. Mooni­lal al­leged that he was a po­ten­tial bene­fac­tor of a 2015 wire trans­fer sent to a Flori­da bank ac­count which he claimed was linked to A&V Oil and Gas, the com­pa­ny named in the fake oil scan­dal.

Dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion last year, Mooni­lal named Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley as an­oth­er di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the trans­fer. This was de­nied by Row­ley.

How­ev­er, Mooni­lal re­vis­it­ed the is­sue again yes­ter­day, ask­ing why no fur­ther pub­lic dis­clo­sures were made on the mat­ter.

“One year and one week lat­er, where are the find­ings? Not one—po­lice, Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Bu­reau, At­tor­ney Gen­er­al—have made any find­ings pub­lic. Not one. Be­cause I made the al­le­ga­tions I had the du­ty to con­tin­ue on that mat­ter be­cause you know why I raised the mat­ter. So if they could not in­ves­ti­gate, I would in­ves­ti­gate,” Mooni­lal said.

Mooni­lal said he dis­cov­ered fur­ther de­tails about the trans­ac­tion, which he once again claimed in­volved De­ok­iesingh.

He said based on these swirling al­le­ga­tions, he raised con­cern that the re­cent deal in­volv­ing the OW­TU might be taint­ed.

“We do not want the OW­TU to fail, Madame Speak­er, we want them to suc­ceed. And I want to tell the OW­TU to­day, do not be conned by this Gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Mooni­lal called on all in­volved in the ac­qui­si­tion of the re­fin­ery to clear the air con­cern­ing a meet­ing be­tween Van Dyke, Ro­get and Move­ment for So­cial Jus­tice leader David Ab­du­lah. He claimed to have a pic­ture of a meet­ing but did not raise it to be seen in Par­lia­ment dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion. He al­so claimed an agree­ment ap­peared to be signed dur­ing the meet­ing.

“I call up­on the play­ers to in­di­cate to the pub­lic, when did this meet­ing take place? Where did this meet­ing take place? How this meet­ing take place, why this meet­ing take place? What are they sign­ing and could I ask them to con­firm if Mr Vidya De­ok­iesingh took the pic­ture that I have in my hand,” the Oropouche East MP asked.

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Story by: NEWS DESK

Image courtesy: OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENT

Image caption: Member for Oropouche East, Dr. Roodal Moonilal makes his contribution during the budget debate, yesterday.

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