CORRUPTION ENDEMIC IN JAMAICA:

Whatever happened to the Finsac Enquiry?

Chen-Young’s Eagle Group was taken over by the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (Finsac) in 1997, and a forensic audit initiated into the operations of the group. The following year Chen-Young faced a $900-million lawsuit brought by Eagle Merchant Bank and Crown Eagle — two of the companies he founded. He subsequently left the island. Chen-Young has since repeatedly insisted that people connected to Finsac have made relentless efforts to discredit him and destroy his career.Read more:http://www.jamaicaobserver.com

Miller

Whatever happened to Trafigura? Dutch authorities wanted to question PNP President Portia Simpson Miller, party chairman Robert Pickergill and senior members Phillip Paulwell and Colin Campbell about a $31 million donation to the party by Trafigura Beheer. It is illegal for Dutch companies to donate to political parties. At the time of the donation in 2006, Trafigura had an oil-lifting contract with the PNP Administration which had formed the government. In court documents, the PNP is contending that the order for its officials to answer questions in relation to the Trafigura probe by Dutch authorities is a breach of their constitutional rights.  Jamaican Government of the PNP took campaign funds from a Dutch Company doing business with the Government. jamaicagleaner.com

Whatever happened to the Cuban Light Bulb case involving Kern Spencer?Whatever happened to the dozens and dozens of cases of corruption on the part of the Government of Jamaica involving both political parties?

Kern Spencer Colleen Wright

While a state minister in the energy ministry in the previous government led by the PNP, Spencer was placed in charge of an energy-saving project. The project involved the distribution of four million free Cuban light bulbs island wide. The project was implemented in July 2006.[3] Allegations of irregularities in the project were leveled against Spencer in Parliament in November 2007 by then Energy Minister Clive Mullings, who asked the auditor-general and the contractor-general to probe the matter [3] Clive Mullings, told Parliament that $114 million was improperly spent on the distribution of four million energy-saving light bulbs donated by the Cuban Government to the people of Jamaica.[4] In January 2008, the auditor-general reported that about 176,380 of the four million bulbs, costing approximately $92 million, could not be accounted for. There was also an absence of an effective system of budgetary control resulting in the making of payments and the incurring of unpaid obligations of $185.3 million over the approved financial support. On 26 February 2008 Kern Spencer was arrested and slapped with seven charges. He is facing three charges of conspiracy to defraud, one charge for breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act, and three charges for breaching the Money Laundering Act.[3]Spencer spent the night in jail and remained behind bars until he was able to post bail on 29 February 2008.[8]wikepedia

These are some of the most egregious cases of corruption graft and dishonesty in recent memory in Jamaica, all of which should have landed people in prison for very lengthy periods of time. To date not a single person has been even tried in a court of law, much less convicted for these crimes.

In Jamaica like many other nations the poor bears the brunt of the clutches of the law, hardly is there a country which one may argue with any degree of legitimacy that the laws are applied fairly across the board , irrespective of offender. Jamaica however seem to go overboard to show that the political class and those with money are above the laws.

The Criminal Justice System would be a joke, were it not so important to the lives of so many. The likely hood of the poorest and least influential person who commits a crime getting caught or getting convicted is between 5-7%. That means between 93-95% persons who have committed murder will never have to fear getting caught. This metric is based on a one person per murder assumption.

The fact that there is such a huge unlikely hood that a felon will never be made to pay for his crimes , they are more likely to be serial felons, to include those who murder. With all of that said, the chances of a politician getting charged criminally, convicted. or imprisoned is pretty much Zero!!

To the best of my recollection the only Politician ever to see what the inside a Prison look like was J.A.G. Smith former labor minister under the Seaga Administration of the 1980″s, for allegedly stealing monies from poor farm workers accounts.

The Kern Spencer trial has been to my mind one of the most galling and (bare-faced) acts of criminality to go unpunished. When the matter came to light I stated emphatically that this case would go on and on then disposed of in the usual way, witnesses can’t be found, file missing, witnesses cannot recall what they had said in their depositions, or any bull-shit of that nature.

There is beginning to be a general consensus among even people who were staunch supporters, that the Country’s chief prosecutor the Director Of Public Prosecution is incompetent, in over her head, or worse, I was one of her supporters who now question her competency. Despite being largely ineffectual,to her credit Paula Llewellyn did bring charges against Kern Spencer, it would appear that all the Jamaican people looking for justice will get was the night he spent in jail February 28th 2008.

From the onset the Magistrate presiding over the case seemed overly aggressive toward the prosecution, this is not unusual as the Jamaican Courts are heavily slanted toward the defendant. This Magistrate however seem overly hostile toward the people’s case. I figured then and there then that like all of the other politicians accused of criminal malfeasance this case would go the route of all of the other calls for justice.

The Magistrate made it obvious that Spencer would not need a defense lawyer, she would champion his defense, to date, the case is in limbo, those looking for a just resolution should move on and not hold their breaths.

Jamaica is a small country, which for years have borrowed more money that it is capable of repaying, as such more than 50% of the country’s resources go to servicing interest on it’s debt, as catastrophic and ultimately cataclysmic as this course is , the country’s leaders continue to seek out every possible lender, trying to borrow more money.

There’s no indication as to what that money has been used for. The country’s infrastructure, where it exist, are antiquated and dilapidated . Where the government has built any structure those structures represent the needs of today at best, with no thought for population growth. At this rate the country will continue to be a third world country long after carribean neighbors, Trinidad, and Barbados have reached first world status.

The Country’s laws are no better, where new legislation commensurate with the sophisticated realities of  the countrys criminal practitioners, they are usually vague and poorly constructed. Which usually result in guilty criminals walking free due to crafty high priced (vultures),…………………… I mean attorneys.

The attitude of the present Government has demonstrably been one of survival. Survival so it may continue to hold state power, but more so dodging and moving from crisis to crisis, through debt adjustments and other short term fixes. They have asked public sector workers to sacrifice by not asking for, or expecting wage increases, even as the value of the Dollar depreciates to almost J$100 to US$1 presently.

What this means is that, not only will Government workers not receive a wage increase, the value of what they were receiving previously will continually be whittled away. At the same time the Government engages in the purchase of high end luxury Sport Utility Vehicles for politicians comfort at the expense of taxpayers.

The country continues to grapple with astronomically high crime, comparable to only five other countries in the world. The Police Department reports, it only has about 50% of the tools it needs to do the job it is tasked with doing.

There seem to be no plan on the part of the existing government to change direction from the inevitable collision course it’s on with destiny. Whether that course adjustment will come through more austerity, self reliance, reducing corruption and crime, thus attracting investment and members of the diaspora returning home is anyone’s guess. From my vantage point it seem that the plan is the same , stay as long as possible steal as much as possible, to hell with country.

Jamaica now depend on the United States to punish its  criminals, as has been the case in the Christopher Coke  and other criminal cases.

Both of Jamaica’s political parties simply refuses to extricate themselves from the tentacles of corruption and criminal allegiance. The people deserve better, yet there is no moral leadership, so it’s every man for himself.

  Hill: Rainford:

Today we learned that Carlos Hill, who is on $15-million bail, and is charged with fraudulently inducing, stemming from allegations that he coerced persons to invest in his billion-dollar alternative investment scheme, had his 15 million dollar bail posted by the then Permanent Sectetary in the Ministry of Local Government Robert Rainford, under the former JLP government.

At the time of his alleged crimes Kern Spencer of the PNP was the Parliamentary Secretary in the National Security Ministry

 Hill operated the scheme for five years before its collapse in 2008. If convicted, Hill could be sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. Even if Hill is acquitted in the Home Circuit Court, he would still not be out of the woods. Hill, his brother Bertram and former Cash Plus executive, Peter Wilson, are also facing prosecution in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court in relation to the scheme. They are to be tried in the Resident Magistrate’s court on charges of obtaining money by false pretense, conspiracy to defraud and fraudulent conversion.(jamaicaobserver)

We understand that when contacted abroad Rainford hung up the phone on members of the media who wanted to ask him questions about his association with Hill a convicted felon in the United States, who was under indictment in Jamaica.

There are really no boundaries in Jamaica, no one seem to have a moral compass even when the instances of conflict of interest and corruption are the most glaring. Jamaica the once pristine pearl of the Caribbean has been reduced to a den of thieves, and a cesspool of corruption and  graft.