Politicians deny Olint allegations
both issued statements yesterday reacting to media reports regarding
benefits allegedly received from David Smith, the jailed Jamaican who
headed the collapsed investment scheme, Olint.
responded to allegations in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last
Supreme Court of the British Caribbean colony, Turks and Caicos,
claiming that both the Opposition JLP and the ruling People’s National
Party (PNP), as well as Patterson and Vaz benefited from donations from
Olint/David Smith “was one of many contributors to the JLP campaign over
the period leading up to the September 2007 General Election”. The JLP
added that it was “examining the claim that US$5 million was donated to
that he received US$1 million from Smith, “or any such gift”.
telephone conversation with Smith, who, he said, confessed that while he
was supporting both major political parties, he was determined to see
the defeat of the PNP’s candidate for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting.
win the election Bunting would become minister of finance, “and he
feared he was out to destroy him”.
party and the guidelines for Cabinet conduct would not allow any member
to pursue a vendetta or discriminatory treatment against any person or
group engaged in business. Anything done would be in accordance with the
about contributing to the campaign. He said he did not know what
resulted from those discussions.
controlled by me, nor was there any cheque signed by me, nor did any
other financial transaction take place which required or obtained my
sanctions,” Patterson said.
donation to the party and not a personal gift. However, it should be
understood that I had dual responsibilities as a candidate and as the
deputy treasurer of the party,” he explained.
receiving donations from Smith, but he said that this should be seen in
the context that up to 2007 Olint was a legally registered business,
operating in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands .
Chris Bovell, which appeared on July 26, 2008, headlined “Olint funded
both the JLP and the PNP”, and in which Bovell admitted that the JLP had
received donations from Smith, but described the US$5 million
suggestion as “ridiculous”.
that is ridiculous,” Bovell said then. In the same article, PNP chairman
Robert Pickersgill dismissed claims that the PNP received US$1.3
million from Olint in 2007.
Court in Orlando, Florida last August. He was accused of defrauding
thousands of customers of more than US$220 million and was convicted
after pleading guilty to 18 counts of money laundering, four counts of
wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.