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In what can be described as a bombshell announcement, Opposition Member and Fourth District Representative, Hon. Mark Vanterpool has alleged that Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie, was under investigation by police. He also alleged that there was a past money laundering matter that the Premier was allegedly involved in.
While addressing the media and his constituents on July 16 in the compound of the House of Assembly, the Opposition Member alleged that there was a major criminal investigation in 2003 with allegations of money laundering levied against Hon. Fahie, who he said was a Government Minister at the time.
In resurrecting the allegation, Hon. Vanterpool said that people deserve to know if the case was closed.
In making the weighty accusation of a current police investigation, Hon. Vanterpool claimed, "I am personally aware of a local police investigation into financial improprieties of our now Premier and Minister for Finance. Why are we sitting and quietly doing and saying nothing,” he declared.
Hon. Vanterpool insisted that he is aware of the investigations and ventured into explaining that he became knowledgeable about the matter after he was requested to provide information to the investigators.
"How I am aware of this financial impropriety? Well let me tell you...My personal bank account and my company's bank accounts were subpoena by the local court investigating any transactions that I may have had with Hon. Andrew Fahie and his family business, Big Ben supermarket at that time. I know! I am not speaking rumors. I am speaking facts...My accounting officer in my business turned over all the files to the courts. In fact, I will tell you more because these are facts, these are not rumours I am speaking of," Hon. Vanterpool declared.
The Opposition Member said that in the face of these accusations, the people should seek answers.
"When you have a Premier and he's the Minister of Finance and there are alleged financial improprieties, you must ask some questions. Not sit like quiet people and let it go by."
In his continuation of what is being alleged against the Premier, the Fourth District Representative mentioned other details of the alleged situation involving Hon. Fahie.
"I know in those years 2002, 2003, somewhere around there I got a call from the Hon. Andrew Fahie from the United States. He did call me and as I learned later around that time he called many others in the BVI...He did call also Hon. Carvin Malone -- Minister of Health. He called him at the time -- who spoke with me on the phone...as he helped to raise very large sums of money to send to Hon. Andrew Fahie in the United States at that time."
While insisting that he is telling the truth about the matter, Hon. Vanterpool said that he was also called by Hon. Fahie, who was in the US.
"My people I am not speaking rumors, I am speaking facts. I was told by Hon. Andrew Fahie when he called me that the money requested of me was for emergency family healthcare...I later learned that the request for those large sums of money might have been for something else," Hon. Vanterpool pointed out.
Hon. Vanterpool further alleged that money raised was paid to a lady name Mama Cita.
"I am told as a matter of fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars were couriered by many persons to the United States to pay for services perhaps to one powerful lady, they say her name is called Mama Cita. I am saying I wanted to tell the Speaker today that hundreds of thousands of dollars I am told was paid to Mama Cita and I heard that one of our deceased members who was very familiar with Mama Cita made that allegation and knows about everything that is happening with this Mama Cita."
According to the Fourth District Representative, during the 2002/2003 time period, it is alleged that the police raided the home of Hon. Fahie as part their investigation; in fact, he said that the information on the investigation can be provided by the former governor and prosecutor.
"We need to find out from the former Governor Frank Savage, from the Former DPP and the former Commissioner of Police, why this case was suddenly dropped -- the people need to know. Was there some deal done in the back rooms? Was there a loophole in the law and what were the circumstances surrounding this investigation? The people need to know," the Opposition Member declared.
In fact, Hon. Vanterpool said that he intends to ask the House of Assembly during this session for a full report to the public as to the circumstances surrounding this case and why was the case dropped, and if it has not been dropped, to let us know where this case is.
Hon. Vanterpool said that he is pursuing the matter because, "the people need to know that their leader, the Premier of this Territory, is above board...of course we want to tell the Speaker that we hope it is not so, but just in case it is so we need to know."
He added: "If our Premier and Minister of Finance has to go to London and has to go to other places to negotiate with international leaders because he wants to make sure we are not a country encouraging money laundering, he needs to tell them about his case of investigation of money laundering. How can you be negotiating for us on money laundering matters when you have a case of money laundering hanging over your head."