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Follow the money, prosecute guilty officials in Petrojam debacle, urges PNP

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party is calling for a forensic audit to be conducted at the State-run oil refinery Petrojam following the auditor general's report into the entity's operations.

In a statement today, the PNP said in addition to the forensic audit of Petrojam, the matter should be immediately referred to the commissioner of police to begin criminal investigations into a number of what appears to be questionable transactions, including the donation of funds, payments to consultants and direct contracting of suppliers.

The Opposition party noted that the audit report raised issues which occurred at Petrojam under the last PNP Administration and said it “welcomes a more detailed probe to determine who should be held accountable for the losses at the entity”.

According to the PNP, the forensic audit and the police investigation are necessary to ascertain what exactly took place at the state owned oil refinery, and who are the culprits responsible for the disappearance or misappropriation of millions of tax-payers'funds.

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“The authorities must follow the money until it is known who is responsible; and we anticipate that those found guilty will be punished for their actions,” said the party's General Secretary Julian Robinson in his first reaction to the report which was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

The PNP said the forensic audit must be thorough and consistent with the period of gross irregularities at the agency.

The party is also calling for restitution by the former minister and the former chairman, Perceval Bahado-Singh of the over $2.6 million paid for personal parties.

“They could not in good conscience expect the poor people of Jamaica to pay for their lavish personal parties, including a birthday cake for $130, 000,” Robinson said.

The Opposition party said mere resignations from official posts were insufficient to compensate for the outright debacle uncovered by the auditor general. “All those who are involved willingly or unwillingly in the criminal conduct at the agency must be investigated and brought to book,” it said.

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