PM doesn’t expect theft to affect airport donations

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The theft of EC$63,744 from the International Airport Development Company (IADC), reportedly by two employees, is not expected to negatively affect donations to the project.

“I don’t think that potential investors are going to say … because there has been an incident of misappropriation of resources that they are not going to give money, whether they are Vincentians who are going to give,” Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said at a media briefing on Monday.

Police are investigating a fraud ring at the IADC, where two junior employees colluded to defraud the company of the monies by billing for more food than was delivered to the company, according to IADC Communication Officer Jennifer Richardson-Herbert.

Gonsalves said that contributors to the EC$652 million Argyle International Airport are interested in knowing that there are “systems in place to make sure that anybody who does anything that they get caught. And this is what we have seen here.”

He said he was “disappointed” with the development. “Anytime anybody goes to steal any government resources, I am very disappointed. And, in this particular case, it is the airport. And I know the Airport Company, they have the responsibility to address this question and they are addressing it.”

Gonsalves said that the company has good management, including its board of directors and chief executive officer, Dr. Rudy Matthias.

“I have been advised that the persons who are alleged to have been involved in this incident that they have indicated their involvement. I wouldn’t say confession, because, as a lawyer, I know that is a particular term of art,” he said.

Gonsalves, however, said he was “not privy to what the police investigators have obtained from the individuals concerned.

“We will see where it goes from here. But we are on course. We are doing quite well at the airport; you see what is taking place. While all of this is going on, I am still in search of funds to raise monies.”

He said that persons who steal from the state would get caught, noting the recent development that the Income Tax Department where an employee was charged with multiple counts of stealing from the department.

When such incidents occur, Gonsalves said, the systems must be re-examined to determine what reforms are needed to close up any loopholes.

“The likelihood of getting caught on these things is very, very high. But at the same time, people are doing a lot of good work out there and I know persons at the International Airport project they are so disappointed and I am very much so, too,” Gonsalves said.

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6 thoughts on “PM doesn’t expect theft to affect airport donations

  1. The names and the identities of these two thieves should be made public!

    Posted by Jason | February 15, 2012, 12:34
  2. The thieves are too greedy, I still believe that they should be asked to repay the money with at least 30% interest and a jail term of not less than one year!!!!

    Posted by no-nonsense | February 15, 2012, 18:26
  3. What investors may be interested in

    Didn’t Airport project manager, Matthias and his wife form a company and buy up tracts of land around the proposed Argyle airport at low prices and have been offering the same land for sale at greatly inflated prices. Wasn’t that insider tradeing. Was Matthias rebuked or fired for such actions. Gonsalves if this happened in the US, Canada or Europe, he would have been for the high jump. I believe this is generaly and publicly known. By your not acting against such behaviour, you Gonsalves are seen to condone it.

    How do you expect underlings to behave when they know what their leaders are doing.



    Posted by Peter | February 15, 2012, 20:20
  4. Then private people are asked to donate towards the airport, their hard earned money, whilst others are plundering the pot.

    The airport is cursed with dirty and blood money. Innocents and Christians have died and are dying in there hundreds and even thousands. Because Gonsalves is asking crap countries for money to help build the airport. In return we give them our vote at the UN, vote for them, vote with them or abstain, whatever protects them from their dastardly human rights acts. We care not that people die and that we are supporting those who murder, slaughter and rape them.

    Christian Blood Airport [CBA]



    Posted by Peter | February 15, 2012, 20:32
  5. There is worse done by the State of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, than the money stolen fro the airport company, which is part of the curse.

    We take money from Iran for the Argyle airport project. Hundreds of Christians are in prison in Iran, they are tortured, beaten, raped, mudered and executed by the state. What did the do wrong to deserve such treatment? they worship God through his Son Jesus, they are Christians that is the only alleged crime. At the United Nations on a fairly frequent basis the Iranians are taken to task for their human rights abuses. SVG votes for them, with them or supports them by abstaining from votes against them. That makes the money that we take from them dirty money, blood money, in taking this money we are supporting Irans policy against Christians. That is why there is a curse on the airport and it now becoming known as the Christian Blood Airport [CBA].

    Those who put their money into the airport for it to be mingled with Christian blood money are also cursed.

    There is plenty of evidence regarding Irans treatment of Christians, use your search engine, have a look, and make a Christian decision.

    Posted by Peter | February 20, 2012, 08:01

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