Speed Dials and Privileges

Submitted by BU Regular

In Barbados speed dialing is usually reserved for your closest friends, your bestest buddy. That person who can get you out of jail or the mud if you need to. It is with passing interest therefore that a reputed “businessman” who was previously charged for trafficking of drugs from an area associated with certain activity was able within seconds to call a leading Minister and Member of Parliament (not his member) when confronted by the Police for what they believed was wrongdoing on Good Friday.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still concerned about the original sin of possibly breaching Covid Protocols on a clearly stated lockdown weekend. I’m also still concerned that this same flagrant breach of protocols occurred last year in the same area by the same persons. I’m similarly concerned that the Police were interrupted in their duty with a speed dial to an aunt. And we should all be concerned about the rumblings and rumours of shadows and benefactors, whether they be from white, black or red seas.

But, the absolute concern is that this “businessman” was so bold enough, so confident and so certain enough of the eventual outcome of his speed dial that he could call an aunt on speakerphone to have the Police retreat and rescind their interpretation of the activities playing out before them. All this in the earshot and view of many many persons.

What is even more farcical is the “official” response from a secretary of the press within 24 hours to spin what happened and raise even more doubts in any right-thinking Barbadian’s mind.

How many other allegations, incidents, rumours and social media posts about aunts and uncles have gone viral without responses or spin? Why is this one so important Roy? Is there fire behind the smoke??

So yes folks, privilege and access here is clear. The reason for it however is not clear (well, at least not to the average bloke). One must now wonder how many “businesspeople” in the BCCI, BPSA, BEC, SBA, shops, villages and even Social Partnership have such a powerful number on speed dial AND are bold and confident enough to use it when confronted by the Police executing their duties.

How many other calls have been made during Covid, or before Covid, or before May 2018 or during the lost decade or even during 1994-2008 that we may never hear about?

I wonder if Hamenauth Sarendranauth had the privilege of a speed dial which would take days and not weekes, if he could have avoided court, prison and now death before being sentenced.

I wonder how many other politicians, ON BOTH SIDES, are comfortable taking speed dials on loudspeaker that lead them to acting CONTRARY to the procedure of the day to the detriment and embarrassment of law-abiding public servants simply trying to do their jobs.

The old girl always said that whenever you see one flying ant by the light bulb there are usually a lot more and to expect some rain over time. In other words, shut de windows.

One thing is for sure. In this 166 square miles privileged speed dials to uncles and aunties who care and who “got this” may not be as rare as we think.

Nay I say. Instead, it should be clear to any observer that despite the talk, the cliches, the speeches and the promises this incident truly shows that This Is Who We Are.

222 comments

  • JAIL HIM!
    US prosecutors want six to eight years for Inniss
    By Maria Bradshaw mariabradshaw@nationnews.com
    Prosecutors are asking that disgraced Barbadian politician, Donville Inniss, be sentenced to six to eight years in federal prison for the “sophisticated” money laundering and conspiracy crimes he committed more than five years ago.
    Yesterday, the prosecutors sent a sentencing memorandum to Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, at the Eastern District Court of New York, rejecting defence counsel’s plea for probation and submitting that a substantial term of imprisonment was warranted.
    Noting that the crime fell within the range of a Level 28, they said: “The government respectfully requests that the court impose a sentence within the applicable guidelines range of 78 to 97 months’ imprisonment that is sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to achieve the goals of sentencing . . . .”
    Was found guilty
    In January last year, Inniss, a former Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business, was found guilty by a jury of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of money laundering. They involved US$36 000 which he received from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL) as a bribe for the award of insurance contracts to the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), and which the US charged he laundered to his American bank accounts.
    In their arguments, the prosecutors submitted that the crimes were sophisticated and Inniss had betrayed the trust which his office held.
    As the former minister, the prosecutors noted, he was supposed to encourage economic development in Barbados, “but instead, abused his public office for his own economic gain”. They pointed out that Inniss, 55, “had carefully orchestrated a criminal bribery and money laundering scheme that played out over ‘consultancy’ payments, offshore bank accounts and a front company in New York.
    “The defendant’s actions weakened the bedrock principle that public officials should act only in the interest of the public, and never to line their own pockets.”
    Making mention of a number of public statements which Inniss made after his conviction last year, the prosecutors charged that he had not taken any responsibility for his actions.
    “The government understands and respects that the defendant wishes to preserve his appellate rights. However, in public statements made after the trial, the defendant has attempted to shift the blame to everyone else – ICBL, its employees and the US government – and to portray himself as the victim, claiming that ‘what was done to me by the US authorities and by ICBL and others in Barbados should not be done to any other person who offered themselves to public service in any developing country’.
    “The defendant took this one step further when he stated that one of the witnesses at his trial ‘may have committed a crime in Barbados, and Barbados authorities were free to have picked her up for questions, but that is not my concern’, and claimed that he was ‘shocked’ to learn about the fake invoice that was used for his first bribe payment – notwithstanding that he personally sent a fake invoice for the second bribe payment.
    “It is one thing for a defendant to maintain his innocence, it is quite another for the defendant, a high-profile former Government official, to suggest that the Barbadian Government should investigate a witness who testified against him at trial,” the prosecutors charged. “The defendant’s post-conviction statements demonstrate that he has not fundamentally changed since his offence.”
    Warranted
    They said a substantial term of imprisonment was warranted based on the nature and seriousness of the offences.
    “By laundering tens of thousands of dollars in bribe payments into the United States, the defendant used the US and its financial institutions to receive the corrupt benefits of his foreign bribery scheme. The defendant’s actions undermined the integrity of United States financial institutions.”
    In terms of Inniss’ contention that the crime had caused no harm to ICBL, the prosecutors also dismissed this.
    “While it is often difficult to quantify the damage caused by corrupt government officials such as the defendant, that damage is real,” they said, referring to corruption as an insidious plague.
    They also rejected his contention that he only received a single bribe that was paid in instalments, insisting that it was two distinct bribe payments.
    In terms of Inniss’ medical history, age and concerns over contracting COVID-19 as reasons for a probationary sentence, the prosecutors also asked the court to reject this, pointing out that vaccinations were available.
    “The defendant’s age has not deterred him from criminal conduct – he committed the instant crime when he was already approximately 50 years old and with a long history as a public official . . . .
    “A substantial sentence, within the guidelines range, is necessary to deter other corrupt government officials and individuals who, like the defendant, would seek to use the instrumentalities of the United States financial system in furtherance of foreign bribery, and to inform the public that committing such conduct will be punished.”

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Man go on do yuh time
    Write a book and mek sure it gets on the New York best selling list
    A tell all.no holds barred

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  • We got heads of govt cuddling with people of Ill repute
    Even so close that these low lives of society have access to PM personnel number
    As old folks day time longer than twine
    Today fuh me tommorow fuh yu
    Past few days have been an eye opener
    Those who have ears to hear and eyes to see have seen the writing on the wall and statements sending messages in the wrong way and manner
    Not Good

    Like

  • @ David April 10, 2021 5:15 AM

    What wonderful news!

    Our government has once again proven its righteousness. GoB is working very closely with the US authorities to put all criminal blue grandees behind bars.Thank you very much, Lord Marshal Dale! We will see joyful celebrations on all hills and beaches when our people frenetically celebrate the imprisonment of their former exploiters and oppressors.

    In view of the heavy prison sentence expected, it is immediately obvious why our Honourable DPP has not initiated criminal proceedings against the Don. Once he has served his many, many years in a Southern US federal prison with daily enforced labour and in chains, he is not fit to be imprisoned in Barbados anyway.

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  • The issue is not totally about Inniss in a local context, we have other players connected to the crime walking free.

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  • @ David

    Can the AG instruct the CoP to investigate a matter involving a private company?

    Would it be legal to charge and prosecute Donville Inniss twice for committing the same crime?

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  • @Artax

    He might persuade one of his constituents to do his bidding.

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  • David April 10, 2021 8:41 AM #: “He might persuade one of his constituents to do his bidding.”

    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your above comment.

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  • @Artax

    It does not take anything much for the authorities to initiate or trigger a complaint to the COP.

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  • “In terms of Inniss’ contention that the crime had caused no harm to ICBL, the prosecutors also dismissed this.”

    and that is what galls me about ego saturated leaders….the BRIBE…HARMED YOUR BLACK PEOPLE…you ashole….ICBL is one who HATES PAYING INJURED CLAIMS…when they can bribe a government minister they can BRIBE A JUDGE and refuse to pay the injured compensation because the case will be dragging through the corrupt supreme court for over 30 YEARS….that’s the license you gave them by being corrupt and easily bought…

    then ya disrespected the population who elected you by SABOTAGING the workings of the taxpayer entity ICBL wanted to control through bribery…

    but no, the clown is worried about harm to a corrupt ass insurance company and not the harm he did to his own people….steupppss…he himself told the court that corruption is they wa halfassed negro sellouts do business in the parliament of Barbados…just goes to show and proves beyond a doubt that they CARE NOTHING ABOUT THE BLACK POPULATION……as long as they get those colonial titles to show off with and use to take bribes…

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  • Innes extradited yet ? Tasker extradited yet ?

    Those who pay bribes and those who accept bribes….same difference.

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  • “Mmiri malụ agụọkpụ anaghị asachapụ ya akara dị ya na ahụ.
    “The rain that beat a leopard does not wash away its spots.”
    -Igbo proverb”

    Like

  • @ Tron April 10, 2021 8:12 AM
    “In view of the heavy prison sentence expected, it is immediately obvious why our Honourable DPP has not initiated criminal proceedings against the Don. Once he has served his many, many years in a Southern US federal prison with daily enforced labour and in chains, he is not fit to be imprisoned in Barbados anyway.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Unlike the mafia boss Ross, it would appear that the Don’s direct line to Goddess MAM can be used only in your dystopian banana republic.

    Why should the Don be the (only) sacrificial lamb for the rampant corruption in your kleptocracy?

    We will listen to your plea for total sycophancy to your Supreme Leader of the country of thieves when your Athenian Bajan Minerva keeps her promise and delivers in tact that red bag of evidence of criminal corruption allegedly perpetrated by “the former exploiters and oppressors” camouflaged in blue and yellow overalls.

    While she is at it, she can attach as an addendum a copy of the 2018 Auditor General’s report.

    Don’t you think that those electioneering claims made in public highlighting the rampant corruption and financial misappropriations of the Bajan State finances by the previous administration will play a ‘decisive’ role in the justice to be meted out to the discredited close friend of your goddess?

    “A president cannot defend a nation if he is not held accountable to its laws.”― DaShanne Stokes

    Like

  • @ Miller April 10, 2021 3:40 PM

    Re: Stokes: Our Supreme Leader is legislator, judge and executor in one person thanks to the emergency legislation. Thus, logically, she always adheres to her own rules. Every change in behaviour automatically triggers a change in the rule. Thus rule and behaviour are always congruent.

    Why was it only the Don who got hit? Maybe because the other DLP grandees no longer dare to travel to the USA? If I am rightly informed, the penalties for corruption are ridiculously meagre here. So it is preferable to bring the DLP grandees to a US court. I call that a smart strategy.

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  • DavidApril 10, 2021 5:15 AM

    Six to eight years?? Are they serious? When recent criminal behaviour in the US, got only three years and a bit, for lying to Congress and witness tampering. Then it was commuted. Which seems a worse crime? Witness tampering is as bad as it gets.

    Is there something else at play here? I have to ask.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-20/roger-stone-sentenced-to-more-than-three-years-in-prison

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  • Enron. Major scandal that ruined lives.

    One director got three years, another eighteen months.

    Yet some want to give Inniss six to eight years? Very unusual. It seems to me that they are shaking the tree for something, but he is not budgeing.

    What are they really after? Would be interesting to know.

    https://www.chron.com/business/enron/article/2-former-Enron-executives-receive-prison-terms-1898288.php

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  • @Crusoe

    And why is he not budging?

    Like

  • “Don’t you think that those electioneering claims made in public highlighting the rampant corruption and financial misappropriations of the Bajan State finances by the previous administration will play a ‘decisive’ role in the justice to be meted out to the discredited close friend of your goddess?”

    but the gall on Donville, he would have stood a better chance if he had talked about the DAMAGE he did to the population who elected him and paid his salary and WHOM HE BETRAYED FOR A BRIBE…if he had shown the least bit of remorse it would have gone in his favor, good to know that the destruction caused to the people by his corrupt actions is not even given a second thought…

    …..ICBL admitted to bribing him, paid a fine, people have complained for decades that this particular insurance company and MOST of the others hate to pay personal injury claims..they would BRIBE A GOVERNMENT MINISTER FIRST, before they pay an injured person…. and i did find out recently that there are cases in the Supreme Court from over 30 YEARS AGO that the dirty judges REFUSE TO COMPLETE or hand down decisions so it’s not a stretch to believe as we have heard ALL ALONG that the insurance companies BRIBE JUDGES…why else would there be a ton of personal injury cases sitting in the court system with no closure for OVER 3 DECADES…….wuh if they could bribe a sitting minister, sitting judges are nothing to bribe…THE WHOLE PLACE IS FILTHY AND NEED CLEANING UP…..or just continue exposing them everywhere until it’s done.

    Like

  • @ DavidApril 10, 2021 4:35 AM
    “@Artax
    The blogmaster is not aware, however, the COP stated he needed a complaint to initiate the process- you mean this could not have been done by the office of the AG as one example of they’re serious about rooting out corruption?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Who says there wasn’t a “Complaint” from a trusted, decent and deeply patriotic Bajan in the form of a very senior public servant who was close to the source of the event of bribery and M/L arrangements?

    Maybe the then acting Cop ‘copped out’ after receiving a call from the beleaguered primate inter pares with the ‘advice’ not to rock the boat and embarrass the ‘tired’ government and reduce the blue and yellow party’s chances on the electoral derby race day when a politically mature filly with four ‘great’ legs and a bushy red tail will be competing in the two-horse race.

    Now where is that UK-based ‘defence’ lawyer and apologist “Greene” when the convicted Donville and the shameful DLP need him ‘most’ in their darkest hour of need?

    Like

  • Miller April 10, 2021 5:54 PM #: “Who says there wasn’t a “Complaint” from a trusted, decent and deeply patriotic Bajan in the form of a very senior public servant who was close to the source of the event of bribery and M/L arrangements?”

    @ Miller

    Please explain how a “very senior public servant” could make a complaint to the police of a matter involving a private company that was the source of bribe?

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  • “One director got three years, another eighteen months.”

    vs…….a government MINISTER…elected by the PEOPLE…..PAID by the people…..and his job description DID NOT INCLUDE taking bribes…or LAUNDERING it in the US……yall love to give them a free pass so THAT THEY CAN ALWAYS BE CORRUPT….then ya complain how corrupt they are….what’s wrong with yall…let them pay for the crimes they commit against the people….they have done it for decades, and all of them should be hauled in soon enuff.

    i remember TEETS jumping on TV telling the COP how he is making a complaint for an investigation into the ICBL affair, i felt then he was playing games and giving the company time to sell, cut and run….and then it happened, company sold, new owners…..end of story….COP said there was nothing to investigate or something like that….

    Like

  • @ Artax April 10, 2021 6:30 PM
    “@ Miller

    Please explain how a “very senior public servant” could make a complaint to the police of a matter involving a private company that was the source of bribe?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Your ‘reaction’ would be watertight if there was NOT a ‘Statutory’ corporation or entity involved in the entire affair.

    As Hants always points out, there can be no bribe without a briber and “bribee”.

    Wasn’t a minister of the Crown involved in the bribery affair?

    Who or what is ultimately responsible for the management of the BIDC, the other ‘corporate’ entity involved the bribery affair?

    Why not check and see who were the members of the Board of Directors of the ICBL before it was sold to other ‘interest’?

    Like

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