|Letter: Are we to expect anything better?|
|Published on February 15, 2013||
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There are many levels or degrees of dishonesty that are practiced within our communities, and in many cases these dishonest acts or actions only constitute unethical practice and or behaviour. Such actions may even be deemed as being corrupt but not unlawful or illegal. However, in some cases, an individual who was a victim of such dishonesty may be able to obtain in a civil court compensation for punitive damages as a result of falling prey to the deception or dishonest action of crooks.
It is the obligations of every responsible government to enact legislation to protect its citizens from any such acts of dishonesty. In this communication oriented world, the citizens of most developing and under-developed countries have the comparative ability to measure the level of care, and how serious their government may take criminality by the protective measures they put into place. This is so for the people that are exposed to and in some case bombarded by the large amount of and the various degrees of dishonesty that were caused by criminals in developed countries such as the United States of America, for these crimes and criminals are always on television and are plastered all over the internet and are a feature on social media.
Vincentians were blessed with a credit union that was established some 72 years ago, with the main purpose to facilitate the construction of homes and commercial property. Unfortunately for this iconic institution, the management and shareholders failed to keep up with the modern times, to adjust their policies to meet the change in the level of integrity of its members (community), and the implementation of stringent policies to protect the investment of its shareholders.
As a result of an extremely high rate of delinquency among the borrowers of the St Vincent and the Grenadines; without a systematic method of making their delinquent customers accountable and responsible for their debts as well as some other factors, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Building and Loan Association (Building and Loan Association) -- the financially troubled credit institution to which I refer -- slowly moved into a state of overwhelming indebtedness.
This state of indebtedness has been known to the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines for many years; as a result of the government’s knowledge, they have been secretly trying to restore the institution to a state of good financial health without making the delinquent creditors responsible for their debts and making others key players accountable for their inappropriate actions. Which is like carrying water in a bottomless bucket: totally impossible.
When the story broke about the condition of the economic state of affairs with the Building and Loan Association, it sent panic throughout the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines and, as a result, Vincentians of all walks of life, wanting to secure their investment, were considering removing the monies they invested with the institution. If this occurred it would result in the immediate collapse of the Building and Loan Association and those individual (the poor people) who can least afford to lose their investment will be left holding the shitty end of the stick.
On the 4th February 2013, in an act of heroism and good faith, the benevolent and caring Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, in an effort to quiet the concerns of the people, held a press conference where he pledged to invest, the sum of $21,000 in the troubled financial institution. A symbolic check was written out for the sum. But is there any actual evidence that the monies actually went to the purchasing of shares or was that just another gimmick to deceive the people of SVG?
Gimmick or not, what is important is the fact that while the Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves was bluffing the people with his bogus investment, according to the information from the leader of the St Vincent and the Grenadines parliamentary opposition, the Hon. Arnhim Eustace, at his press conference on the 11th February 2013; it was revealed that the dear elderly 93-year-old mother of Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, Ms Theresa Francis, had some four months earlier, withdrawn her total investment; monies in excess of one million dollars from the financially troubled institution: the SVG Building and Loan Association. As a result of this new information, I would like to ask these questions:
1. Did Ralph Gonsalves know of the business transaction conducted by his mother?
2. If yes, why didn’t he bring that transaction to the public attention (seeing that he is the primary beneficiary of his mother’s estate) as a show of good faith and transparency?
3. At 93 years old, what is the present mental capacity of this lady?
4. Who is the executor of her estate?
5. Who is responsible for giving her legal and financial counseling?
6. Did she consult with her son, the prime minister, who is the primary beneficiary of her estate before dealing the financially deadly blow to the Building and Loan Association?
7. Was it at the prompting of her son, the PM, in an effort to safeguard his inheritance that the old lady canceled her membership with the Building and Loan Association and removed her monies?
In my opinion, these are fair questions that need to be answered and this should be done in the name of transparency -- one of the platforms on which Gonsalves campaigned upon before he took the reins of government in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In the USA or any other civilized part of the world (developed, developing or under-developed countries), the prime minister and his office would have been investigated for insider trading (which is the passing on to and the use of confidential information for personal use or for the use of someone close to you, to cause them to take some action to gain or preventing the loss of investment which would or would not have occurred, if they were not privy to the confidential information). Insider trading is a criminal offence that saw the likes of business tycoon Martha Stewart serving prison time for after she was found guilty of committing.
The leader of the opposition, the commissioner of police and the director of public prosecutions should, after reading this document, begin an in depth investigation of the prime minister and the prime minister’s office and get to the bottom of this. For it may just be time for the prime minister to invoke his privilege of prime-ministerial nolle prosequi, a chip he has used on several occasions. The only thing, I don’t think it is a criminal offence in St Vincent and the Grenadines to trade confidential financial secrets for personal gain.
Okay, let us wait and see if these articles are going to have my van and I targeted like what happened in early December 2012.
Ah boy, what a prime minister and what a country!
here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!
To Mr A Palmer,
I really don’t know why I am wasting my precious time on this, but then again, it’s Lent and I do need to be extra kind, to naysayers, so here goes.
1st, Mr Palmer, congratulations you learnt the meaning of a word, however, even though you may have copied the meaning of primary beneficiary you need to work on your grammar. If only you know who you are trying to give lessons to regarding the meaning of primary beneficiary; lol. Mr Palmer, I have some of the same questions for you; what are you assets? Who are your beneficiaries? When YOU are ready to nominate YOUR beneficiaries would you have something left in the ‘kitty’ for them? Why is to so important to YOU to know other people’s business? Is it because the police know yours?
2nd, Check your grammar, please Mr Palmer. You never know, those so called diplomats and dignitaries who you claim to know, may be reading your article. By the way, a garbage collector also deals with diplomats and dignitaries, he/she clears the garbage from diplomats/dignitaries homes and offices, and I truly believe that such a person has much more class than you do.
3rd, Are you kidding me, what the hell Alan Palmer are you that dumb? (Using your own words here, just substituting your name for mine). Do you listen to the radio? All the radio stations in SVG may be obtained on line. Oops I forget, you probably only listen to the station that feeds YOUR ego. Dr Gonsalves said on radio that he is not a beneficiary of the fund from his mothers’ account at B & L, why then should Ms Francis or her family give personal family information to YOU. Who do you think you are Mr Big Shot? I said it before, and I will say it again to YOU, YOUR questions are inappropriate. You also declare that YOU need an answer immediately? I do hope that the children of Ms Francis read this and agree with my sentiments.....Not even if HELL FREEZES OVER, should they do it, not for you, or anyone outside their immediate family. You can call me dumb, but I know sign language, Do you? lol.
Allan H. Palmer:
Livy a primary benificiary of an estate are those who are named in a will or a person or persons who has a direct and lawful claim to the estate, a significant or equal share of the estate if the estate is intestate. Does that make Ralph E. Gonsalves a primary benificiary or not?
Do you have to learn such information from the news, what kind of backward ironious thing is this. Isn't this common sense stuff or basic or common knowledge, what the hell, Livy who ever you are, you cannot be so dumb.
Livy if you dont know something as simple as who is a primary beneficiary would you know something that is as complex as what questions are appropriate. Leave that to me who have been dealing with and was the go to guy to deal with all class of diplomat and dignataries for many years. My questions are not only appropriate they are questions that must be answered immediately.
Ian Francis, it seems to me that you have took up the slanderous role of Horace Williams AKA Simon Anderson, Good luck my brother who ever you are and may your god (who or whatever that is) bless your fabricatoons.....lol.
Livy I don't care who you are, or the level of your education, one thing I am sure of, I can match you Gonsalves or anyone for that fact on any subject area even in the field in which you qualify, and I will match you all without any previous research.
Any time you want to take me on you say the word I will make myself available to challenge you or Gonsalves any time any where.
The fact is Ralph is a beneficary to theresa Francis' Estate, the withdraw from the Building and Loan is not separate from her estate it is part of theresa's estate.
When money is withdraw from a financial institution under suspicious circumstances that may be deemed unlawful, then it becomes public business, my business.
Livy it is not hard to tell when you and your kind are experiencing defeat insecurities, you stop discussing the issues and begin to start looking for gramatical errors lol. Have you ever take the time to read Ralph Gonsalves writings, it is the worst thing ever. Go and read those he wrote on this this forum. Livy you are a sad case. lol. Ha ha ha haaa.
Allan Palmer :
O Livy, I forgot, I am not dumb but, I know sign language, when I was working at the public work department, the school for special needs send two hearing impaired student on asignment at the public works department, none of the other workera were able to communicate with the student, as a result Me. Lenox Cole shop manager and his deputy Me. Punt assigned the youths to me, Rudolph who was from Biabou taught sign language as I teach him the skill that was ibtended for his education he taught me sign laungage, he even brought a sign language book titled "the Joy of signing" to aid my learning, so as a police I was able to communicate with my non-speaking brothers and sisters.
While working in Barrouallie I was the only officer who were able to interview a female who was hearing impaired to determine that she was a victim of crime, unfortunately we had to bring in a certify sign language professional to record the statement. So Livy you can't touch this. Do you understand who I am? You have nothing on me.
1. Are you the Allan Palmer who recently lost a defamation and slander suit against Comrade Prime Minister Gonsalves?
2. Are you the same radio journalist who control a local FM Station in KINGSTON that beam three hours of daily broadcasting against the Government of St.Lucia.
3. The Prime Minister is an adult, his mother is also an adult. He happens to be the Prime Minister of St.Vincent. However, for you and other Gonsalves bashers to accuse him of wrong doing based on an independent financial decision of his mother, I find your allegations and theories to be of a punctured bowl that cannot hold water.
Frankly Allan, it is time that you and the other Gonsalves detractors find something more meaningful to do rather than embarking upon such character assassination.
The Comrade Prime Minister is just doing fine. LEAVE THE MAN ALONE because local and global observers are not buying your STORIES.
Do you omit what you want to from the reported news in SVG and then insert your own News?
How do you know that his mother cancelled her membership?
Nowhere in any of the news in SVG whether radio, TV, or print have I seen or heard - that Dr Gonsalves is the prime beneficiary of his mothers’ finances.
Dr Gonsalves says that he knew nothing of the withdrawal and I believe him.
Dr Gonsalves is not her only child; there are ten children (five sons and five daughters) in the family, all with the same mother and father. From what I know they are all well educated with most having a family, worked full time while putting themselves through university at night. In the family, apart from Dr Ralph, there is a banker (a fellow of the Institute of Canadian Banking), accountants, brokers, a nurse (with a bachelor degree), human resources manager, successful entrepreneurs, and even a retired VP of a US based international company, why do you think that Dr Gonsalves is the only one who may know details of his mothers’ business or have the brains to advise her?
I find your questions are out of place and none of your business. There was no insider trading here. The biggest problem here is the employee at B & L who gave information about a customers’ account at a financial institution, this is the problem, because it is a breach of confidentiality.
Mr Palmer, I tell you this, I am a customer/member of B&L and if I should withdraw MY Money or for that matter purchase additional shares and an employee decides to give this information to someone outside of the institution without MY authority, and I discover this, I will take legal steps against the institution and ensure that such a person NEVER works at another Financial institution!
Say Mr Palmer, remember, on the NDP watch when a stranger, with no accounts at the bank, walked in to the NCB and on the advice of an NDP appointed person, (he just met the man with whom he conducted a real estate transaction) this stranger was able to cash a US company cheque drawn on a US Bank for a million dollars, the man and the money flew off into the Caribbean sunset never to be heard of again, and then it was discovered that the cheque was a fake! Whatever happened?
Now Mr Palmer, this is a different story. Ms Francis has been a member of B & L since 1939; it is her money to withdraw if she so wishes. If B&L utilized her money to make loans without completing the loan documentation nor apply proper lending procedures and guidelines and or ensure the completion of mortgage registration, and then these loans become delinquent, she cannot be held responsible! End of story!
It so amazing to see these people continues to publish alot of crap, knowing the vast majority not buying in to their nonsence. The bunch of mouth shooters utter garbage, and not able to come up with solutions as to the problems the country is facing. Dr. Ralph is a man of action, always in the fore front doing all he can to push SVG forward. Every time a positive report on SVG came out, those fools always has some negative thing to say about it. The thing is, not vincentian doing these reports, respected international agentcies are the one doing these assessments. It is time enough for these grown men to pull them self up, stop being foolish and bias. One must be constructive in their criticism. I always do my own research on most of these reports and fine out they are factual. Our country is moving in the right direction. Yes we have problem. Can you tell me which country the world over that does't have? All of them do. The government alone can't solve all the problems that confronts this nation of ours, no. All of us must work together to meet them head on.
LIVY, if Ms Francis, mother of Ralph Gonsalves [how come he has a different name] was unable, unfit and mentally unable to make the decision to withdraw her savings, what does that tell us, it tells us that someone acting for her withdrew that money, one or more of her children, probably one that lives in SVG. I suppose some would say its a sons duty to protect their mother.
Keeping in mind that PM Gonsalves told us he is a liar, no I did not make that up, he told us whilst in parliament that he sometimes tells lies. Its recorded in Hansard, there for history to judge forever.
Now when he tells us he never discussed or advised his mother or family to withdraw their money from BLA. Can we believe him or is he telling us lies. If he did discuss it with his family that is tantamount to giving them a pecuniary advantage over other investors.
I do not think that Gonsalves or the government directly caused the present BLA situation, that was management failure, past and present. But there has been a more than serious failure of the governments legal and fiduciary control over Building and Loan, just as they failed British American and CLICO. Failure to have in place proper controls, or guarantee deposits, to insure and ensure that investors get their money or a good portion of their money from a government controlled fund if the company fails [such is law and a legal requirement of the government] .
I am amazed that investors in BA and CL didn’t sue the government in a joint action.
Gonsalves as minister of finance has failed in his duty to the people, anyone with an ounce of decency would resign.
Its not what they have done, its the way they did it, that has people thinking there was something conspiratorial about it.
There is a cloud of darkness and doubt over the whole thing from 2009 to PM Gonsalves mothers cash withdrawal, to Luke Browne’s letter, to the FSA take over, now to the disgraceful disclosure by Gonsalves [for his own purposes], of the secret files of the ministry of finance and BLA. A disclosure that seals the fate of BLA as a failed association, with no regard to small investors.
Richard Huggins :
Jason are you a black man?
Are u in a agreement with Ralph, you man of action constantly referring to Mr. EUSTACE'S skin COLOR?
Here is something that crossed my mind, was this the ladies money or was she safe keeping it for a family member?
How long was it deposited for? when was it deposited?
As a matter of transparancy and to remove any bad thoughts can we have an answer.
I know, some of you will say that is her business. But I submit to you as the mother of the prime minister who is also the minister of finance. The man that knew most about the finances of BLA. She cannot therefore be treated just like a normal customer.
Its quite possible because of her mental state, she did not even know she had that money, much less when she got it and from where.
So seeing as the sons, one or more handle her affairs, you tell us the answers, keeping in mind that there are records that sometime in the future will be open to scrutiny.