PM: DPP will decide on A&V Drilling case

The same Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions who “con­duct­ed his busi­ness” the way he did last week - with two UNC mem­bers- and al­so did it again yes­ter­day is the same DPP who has in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the A&V Drilling al­leged “fake oil” is­sue.

That was Prime Min­is­ter Kei­th Row­ley’s re­sponse to the Op­po­si­tion in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day when he was grilled about why there was no foren­sic au­dit in­to the A&V Drilling/oil is­sue.

The mat­ter was bro­ken by the Op­po­si­tion in 2017. In­ter­nal au­dit claims had emerged that A&V Drilling, re­ceived mil­li­ons of dol­lars from Petrotrin but failed to sup­ply the vol­ume of oil promised. Row­ley had ac­knowl­edged the com­pa­ny’s own­er was his friend.

Yes­ter­day Row­ley said the A&V Drilling mat­ter is be­fore the DPP to de­ter­mine if any wrong­do­ing oc­curred and who was ac­count­able. He said A&V and Petrotrin are in ar­bi­tra­tion on who owes who and the con­trac­tu­al li­a­bil­i­ties are to be de­ter­mined

“It has noth­ing to do with me,” Row­ley de­clared un­der prob­ing by UNC’s Rod­ney Charles.

“And if he knows of any rea­sons why I should re­cuse my­self he should say, bet­ter still - come out­side and say it,” the Prime Min­is­ter chal­lenged.

Row­ley said in­for­ma­tion on the mat­ter still ex­ists since Petrotrin was not dis­solved. All its past is­sues re­main as “lega­cy items” of the orig­i­nal com­pa­ny, he added.

UNC MP Roodal Mooni­lal asked if best-in-class UK foren­sic au­di­tors would be hired to probe the mat­ter and help law en­force­ment.

Row­ley replied, “I don’t know what they so jumpy about. The po­lice ser­vice has al­ready done that and put in the ser­vice, the com­pe­tence and ex­per­tise to treat with this and all oth­er mat­ters.”

On Gov­ern­ment’s ac­qui­si­tion of land for con­struc­tion of Va­len­cia to To­co high­way, Row­ley said the process is now un­der­way to get to the stage of land ac­qui­si­tion. He said tax­pay­ers could be as­sured there would be no “squan­der­ma­nia” as he claimed was done with the Solomon Ho­choy High­way ex­ten­sion to Pt Fortin un­der the for­mer Peo­ple’s Part­ner­ship ad­min­is­tra­tion. He said land ac­qui­si­tion had been one of the sources of the “rape of the Trea­sury” be­fore.

Chal­lenged by Charles, he said none of his par­lia­men­tary col­leagues would be treat­ed dif­fer­ent­ly than oth­ers whose prop­er­ty might be ac­quired.

 - by Rishi Ragoonath

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