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Rohee says opposition in bed with drug cartels, money launderers; offers no evidence

RoheeThe Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee today started off the PPP’s weekly press conference, making the startling but yet old allegation that opposition parliamentary parties are representing the interest’s of criminal cartels, whom he said they depend on for financial and political support.

The Minister at first blanked questions about the evidence he has and why he hasn’t been taking action as head of the security sector, but then, he said he was waiting for the passage of the legislation. On Monday evening, the opposition walked out of the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee, which is fine-tuning the anti-money laundering legislation before it goes back to the full house for a vote. The opposition could not agree with representatives of the government to have the Private Sector observe its meeting. According to Rohee, the walkout by the opposition was part of its plan to block passage of the legislation.

The government has been saying that the country was blacklisted last November by the Caribbean arm of an international task force which seeks to ensure compliance with safeguards against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. But now, the government is again warning of an upcoming blacklisting at another meeting of the international financial action task force. So was the country really blacklisted last November or not? This was Mr Rohee’s response. With conflicting positions coming from the government, Rohee acknowledged that there some people are wary of the talk of a blacklist.

However, Rohee said the matter of a blacklisting was serious business, though he couldn’t again back up his claims when he was asked to comment on the effects of the blacklisting. Minister Rohee was asked why existing laws were not being put to use against those whom he claimed to know of being involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. He gave no clear answer, and preferred to say, let’s move on.

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