Providenciales, 15 Feb 2016 – Evidence will today begin being presented against the men and women accused of abusing their government power and connections to defraud the public purse of the Turks and Caicos of tens of millions of dollars.
When the Special Prosecution proceedings wrapped up on the Friday February 5, 2016, Andrew Mitchell laid out that in six years Michael Misick, the former premier managed to spend over $28 million dollars on a lavish lifestyle; and that it was ill gotten monies which he allegedly siphoned from the people of the TCI.
The special prosecutor says Misick used his government credit card for personal purchases, and allegedly tried to force TCIG to pay for it…. That he paid school fees for ex-wife LisaRaye’s daughter… that he chartered planes and yachts, allegedly at the expense of the people of the TCI and that he had many companies set up to allegedly launder money.
Misick had told media before the holidays in 2015 that he would not take a plea deal in this case because he is completely innocent of all charges.
Still, Mitchell painted a very different and compelling picture of Michael Eugene Misick and his colleagues in an opening statement which lasted three weeks.
When it came to the ex deputy premier, Mitchell summed up that Floyd and Lisa Hall went from having no declarations once he became a member of parliament to having a whole lot. The former PNP deputy leader is charged with funneling money on deals made while in office through the PNP account to his own; that he got, allegedly, some $1.13 million from government and as Mitchell put it, his spending was inconsistent with his government salary… $700,000 was said to have been his credit card bill alone.
When it came to McCallister Hanchell, the former Minister of Lands it was also about drawing the contrast between Hanchell’s beginnings in government and his declarations as a House of Assembly member over time. There were hardly any declaration of assets in the beginning, but that mushroomed as did Hanchell’s personal account and assets over the years. A one million dollar wedding, $1.2 million in credit card spending, a near million dollar house in Chalk Sound and payments from the PNP of $113,000 were all linked to Hanchell by the Special Prosecutor.
When it came to Lillian Boyce, the former Health and Education Minister it was about the $1 million cheque her brother, Earlson Robinson received from a North West Point land deal and money she told the SIPT was loaned to her by him and money loaned to Michael Misick by them both.
This is the one charge against Boyce, who is alleged to have gained $1.3 million from TCIG and who also never received any payment from the PNP party account.
Andrew Mitchell, QC also said Jeffrey Hall benefited from what he called the spoils power as his declarations showed amassing properties and showed hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits to the former Minister of Housing.
This allegedly included a payment from the PNP party, often through the bank account of his wife and an individual named as Charles Hall.
Jeffrey Hall, unlike Lillian Boyce did not cooperate with an interview with the SIPT.
The Crown charges Chal Misick, attorney brother of Michael Misick with assisting the laundering of money from corrupt and dishonest activities for his brother and others. The SIPT charges that Chal Misick played a leading role, but he too declined to answer any SIPT questions.
Still the Crown said Chalmers must have known what he was doing and demonstrated various payments made on behalf of the former premier. Even a chart was created to show the rise of income for Mike Misick.
Another attorney, Clayton Greene, who is also former Speaker of the House of Assembly is caught up in a one million dollar transaction linked to the Juniper Hold land deal. Reportedly, Greene, who is Floyd Hall’s first cousin deposited the million dollars to TCI Bank in an account, owed by Quinten Hall, Floyd Hall’s brother.
The SIPT charges Greene with money laundering for this action.
The final presentation on that final opening statement day related to Melbourne Wilson, also an attorney who did cooperate with an interview but for the most part told the SIPT that he could not remember the finer details of a transaction related to the North West Point Land deal.
Wilson described himself as the close friend of Jeffrey Hall; he is answering for allegedly laundering $200,000.
When court resumes today, in all that Andrew Mitchell, QC has already laid out – he now says he will provide the evidence to support the allegations against the nine defendants.
Ralph Thorne, QC for Michael Misick is due to first give his response to the Opening Statement by Mitchell.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
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