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Dec 14, 2021

Minister Habet Concerned About Bribery Allegations

Minister of Sustainable Development, Orlando Habet, says his ministry is concerned about the allegation of bribery being made against members of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee. In a letter dated November twenty- fourth addressed to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Sustainable Development,  Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited alleged that members of Committee (NEAC) approached them requesting financial remuneration in exchange  for assistance in answering NEAC questions. As we have reported, Waterloo Holding Limited is seeking the approval of NEAC for the construction of a bulk  handling facility and cruise ship port.  In writing to C.E.O. Williams to express, “deep concern, with the manner in which the regulatory approval process… has been handed thus far”, Waterloo Holdings included the allegations.  When we spoke to Minister Habet today he told us that Waterloo has since indicated it wants to move pass their allegations and proceed to a final decision on the proposed project.


Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development

Orlando Habet

“What we have been privy to is a letter coming from the principals, or somebody from Waterloo suggesting or alleging that there has been some type of misconduct by some of the NEAC members. That is as far as we know. From outside, it is very concerning if it is so. If it is not so, it is also very concerning because you don’t want to have allegations on your technical people who are at this high level and doing such an important job. So, what has happened is, the Ministry through the CEO has requested from them some clarifications and for them to do some type of substantiation on the allegations.  Nothing has been forthcoming from them as to that request as yet. We can’t make any accusations, or it is difficult to even do any type of investigations if you don’t substantiate that kind of allegations. So, are there names? Exactly what type of bribery is he talking about? We don’t know we don’t if it is monetary; exactly what kind of bribe they are talking about? But they did not give us a response to that. As a matter of fact, the latest we got is saying listen, we brought that up, it is a serious concern. We do not want to put that behind thinking it is not important but for now we want to proceed so that you can have a new way forward for the meeting that will come up with a decision, and that perhaps it was a miscommunication between both parties. That is what they said.”

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