Sunday, September 30, 2012

Duprey was major PNM financier; Kamla shows $5M cheque

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told supporters Saturday that her United National Congress (UNC) never received any cheque for $2.4 million as claimed by the People's National Movement (PNM).

Speaking at a Pre-Budget rally at Mid Centre Mall in Chaguanas, she said she asked the party's officials to investigate and they found no such cheque because none exists. "Mr Rowley is lying as he cannot produce any cheque to Kamla Persad Bissessar or the UNC," she said.

However she waved a document which she said was a copy of a cheque for $5 million signed by Lawrence Duprey, the former executive chairman of CL Financial.

She said the cheque is dated June 10, 2007. She wondered if the rescue package that the Manning PNM government provide to bail out CL was "payback" for the generous donation of $5 million for the PNM. She pointed out that the CL bailout package was around $19 billion dollars.

In 2009, the Sunday Express published a copy of a $5 million cheque from CL Financial to the People's National Movement signed by Lawrence Duprey and other CL officials at a time when the group was in financial trouble.

The paper said its sources reported that the "conglomerate bankrolled the 2007 election campaign of the Patrick Manning-led PNM party to the tune of some $20 million."

The paper said according to its sources, much of the money paid for suppliers of goods and services such as printing fliers and tee shirts, renting tents and maxi-taxis, but the bulk of the cash was paid to advertising agencies for media activity.

The Express said some of it went directly to the party, including one made "directly to the People's National Movement from the group's insurance subsidiary, Clico, on June 28, 2007, for the generous sum of $5 million. It said the $5 million cheque was drawn from a Republic Bank-held account at Independence Square in Port of Spain, was endorsed less than a month before the November 5, 2007, vote by Rose Janierre, assistant party secretary and Linus Rogers, PNM elections officer."

The report added, "The $5 million Clico payout to the PNM's war chest was made at a time when the country's No1 insurance company had already been red-flagged with solvency issues, a statutory fund deficit of close to a billion dollars and what financial observers warned were dangerously excessive levels of inter-party transactions within the group.

"If the Manning government had any concerns about the holding company using the country's largest insurer as a lucrative little money machine, it not only kept its own counsel but it lined up at the feeding trough.

"In the middle of this interplay of politics and business stood Andre Monteil, the then group financial director of Duprey's $100 billion business behemoth, his No1 lieutenant, party treasurer of the incumbent PNM government and the PNM face of the corporate animal known as CL Financial," the Express reported.

The paper said Duprey's group spread a lot of wealth around the PNM in the last decade mainly through "Duprey's right hand man, Andre Monteil, who, until recently, was numbered among the party's most formidable power brokers."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai