Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 17th 2014 Contents RICHARD LORD
Candidate for the post of political
leader of the PNM in the May 18
national executive election, Pen-
nelope Beckles-Robinson says she
is not worried about a recently pub-
lished Nacta poll, which showed
the incumbent Dr Keith Rowley was
in the lead for the contest.
Beckles-Robinson said so in
response to a question during a visit
to the San Juan market yesterday
as she engaged in public campaign
for support. Beckles-Robinson was
accompanied by a small group of
Earlier in the morning she had
also visited the Tunapuna market.
The former Arima MP said her
campaign began over the weekend.
She argued that any candidate who
was challenging the incumbent
would not expect to be ahead at the
start of their campaign. "Let s do
another poll about a month from
today and see if the results will be
the same," she added.
Beckles-Robinson recalled that
US President Barack Obama was
not ahead at the start of his cam-
paign to be the Democratic party s
candidate in the 2008 US Presiden-
tial elections. She said in 1996, when
Rowley challenged former prime
minister Patrick Manning for the
party leadership, Rowley was not
ahead at the start either.
"So the truth is I am not too wor-
ried," she insisted.
She received support from well-
wishers at both markets yesterday.
Many people raised concern about
the price of food, crime and other
issues. She said she told the vendors
in Tunapuna market that agriculture
was neglected by the PNM but she
was committed to change that if
given a chance in Government.
Beckles-Robinson , who bought
fish, vegetables and a Sunday
Guardian during her visits yesterday
responded to reports of threats to
her supporters. "We have some hos-
tility but part of the understanding
of politics is that you are going to
have some picong," she said.
But, she said, she was "really not
afraid of the hostility." She admitted
that her supporters have told her of
verbal threats against them if they
were not to support a certain person.
In the face of the threats, Beckles-
Robinson said she had told her sup-
porters and non-supporters they
should "stand up for what you
believe in. This is democracy at work
in the party and do not be afraid."
Asked about the relations with
Rowley, She said in conversation
with Colm Imbert, who is contesting
the vice chairman post on Rowley s
slate that PNM members should
speak the truth and not engage in
malice as the party has to prepare
to the 2015 general election.
She said she has been the recip-
ient of malicious banter but was not
going to engage in gutter politics.
The election is being conducted
for the first time in the party s 58-
year history under the one-man
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, March 17, 2014
If the Government fails to begin
prosecuting people under the money
laundering laws, T&T runs the risk
of being blacklisted by the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF).
The warning was issued by former
director designate of Financial Intel-
ligence Unit (FIU) David West who
pleaded with parliamentarians to
work together to ensure the legislation
He was speaking at the launch of
the first local Chapter of Global
Organisation of Parliamentarians
Against Corruption (Gopac) at Soongs
Great Wall Restaurant in San Fer-
nando on Saturday.
West said the fourth round of FATF
evaluation was in 2015 and the coun-
try was not ready because there had
been no prosecutions and no con-
victions for money laundering.
In an interview afterwards, West
explained that if T&T was not com-
pliant in enough of the standards or
recommendations of the FATF it
would go on the International Co-
operation Review Group (ICRG) list.
If that happens, he said T&T would
be regularly evaluated and monitored.
"We don t have any convictions.
We don t have any prosecutions on
money laundering and that is what
they are looking at now.
"Previously, we were getting all
the legislation in place and we have
legislation but now it s time to get
the investigations and prosecutions
"It is highly likely that we could
be back on on the ICRG list and if
nothing happen in the near future
we could be blacklisted."
He said the FATF would issue a
bulletin saying T&T had failed to
comply with certain standards and
advise countries not to do business
"It hits the man on the street," he
"We don t want a situation to hap-
pen like in Guyana, where the
Caribbean FATF based in Trinidad
has warned countries not to do busi-
ness with that country.
"In Trinidad this can easily happen
because the opposition may not sup-
port the legislation and we may end
up in a situation like Guyana. I am
imploring parliamentarians on both
sides to be sensible when dealing
with this legislation."
He recalled that T&T was almost
blacklisted in 2011, but in 2012 it
came off the list and at the last eval-
uation T&T was in compliance with
28 of 40 recommendations.
Between 2010 and 2013, according
to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
report, there had been over a billion
dollars in suspicious transactions,
but no prosecution, conviction or
debate. Clearly, he said the FIU was
"What are these parliamentarians
doing? They are sleeping on the job
and we as a people realise that and
we have to do something about it.
"I fully support the initiative of
Gopac and we need more people to
come on board."
West stressed that an effective
anti-money laundering regime is the
only way to reduce incidence of cor-
ruption among public officials.
Former FIU director designate:
T&T at risk of being blacklisted
From left, president general of Fitun David Abdulah, Mary King, former director designate FIU David West, chairman of Global Organisation of
Parliamentarians Against Corruption ( GOPAC) Lyndira Oudit, former minister of Foreign Affairs Ralph Maraj and Dr Joseph Laquis share a moment during
Saturday's event. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Candidate for the post of political leader of the PNM in the May 18 national executive election Pennelope Beckles-
Robinson chats with a vendor during her visit to the Tunapuna market yesterday. PHOTO RICHARD LORD
Penny not worried
about Nacta poll
Links Archive March 16th 2014 March 18th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page