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Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller not aware her PNP party got ponzi scheme Olint money

“I can’t say. I was not aware that we had gotten that contribution,” the prime minister told journalists following her keynote presentation at a luncheon of the Rotary Club of Kingston at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.

DESPITE an admission by a top ranking official of the People's National Party (PNP) that failed ponzi scheme Olint donated US$1 million to the party, which it spent in the 2007 general election campaign, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday said she had been totally unaware of the gift.

"I can't say. I was not aware that we had gotten that contribution," the prime minister told journalists following her keynote presentation at a luncheon of the Rotary Club of Kingston at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.

Simpson Miller said she was yet to be briefed by party officials "as to what happened" but had been aware that the party had been doing investigations into the allegations that it had received monies from Olint.

"But I was told that we had never gotten anything of that magnitude in terms of contributions," she said. In the meantime, Simpson Miller said she could not comment on the position the party would take on the issue and whether the monies would be returned.

"I can't say. I don't know... there is a team that is taking care of that particular issue with the party chairman involved," the prime minister said before being whisked away by members of her entourage.

Simpson Miller's comments came a few hours after a statement issued by PNP Chairman Robert 'Bobby' Pickersgill in which he said that following the publication of a Confiscation Order issued by the Supreme Court of the Turks & Caicos Islands, the party had conducted investigations to see what sums it received for the 2007 election campaign from Olint principal David Smith.

"The investigation has proceeded in earnest, and a thorough examination of all available records has been pursued with urgency. The investigation has established that the sum of US$1,000,000 was received in an account on its behalf and spent in the party's 2007 election campaign," Pickersgill admitted.

However, he said "though the party has not yet received documentary evidence as to the source of this sum, information is that it came from Olint".

The same Confiscation Order had also pinpointed the now Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, as well as former PNP president PJ Patterson as benefiting from donations from Smith.

The JLP subsequently said it was aware that Smith "was one of many contributors to the JLP's 2007 election campaign", but said the amount was nowhere near the US$5 million the party was said to have received.

Patterson categorically denied that he received US$1 million from Smith, "or any such gift".

Yesterday, Pickersgill, who had previously announced that there was no record that the PNP received money from Olint, said the facts gleaned by the party's investigators confirm the truth and accuracy of Patterson's statement in relation to the matter.

"This was an account of which the former party president, PJ Patterson, had no knowledge or control. Our enquiries confirm that he neither obtained nor received this amount or any portion of it, in cash or kind. All the available evidence reveals that at no time was he told or made aware of the deposit or any disbursements made from it," Pickersgill said.

He noted that "in view of these findings, the party will be so advising the authorities in the Turks & Caicos, so that the recipient of the funds is not wrongly identified".

Pickersgill also said that with regard to the Confiscation Order's reference to "a gift of US$2,000,000" to the PNP, "the party's investigations so far have not identified any such amount, or any other amount save for the US$1,000,000 referred to above, as having been received on its behalf from Olint/David Smith".

Smith was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the United States District 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.

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Comment by barbara glover on June 18, 2012 at 10:26pm

SWEET JAMAICA LAND THAT WE LOVE

Comment by barbara glover on June 18, 2012 at 10:25pm

MRS PORTIA SIMPSON MILLER CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR LITTLE ISLAND JAMAICA LAND THAT WE LOVE SO MUCH IT IS VERY SAD TO SEE THE MUDER RATE IS KEEP CLIMBING UP AND I AM VERY CONCERN ABOUT THE POOR PEOPLE IN JAMAICA THE POLICE ARE CORRUPTED AND THEY ARE NOT DOING THERE JOB TO PROTECT THE CITIZEN OF JAMAICA IN STEAD THEY ARE KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF GANGS IN JAMAICA THAT IS KILLING ONE ANOTHER AND THE POLICE IS NOT HELPING I WISH THERE COULD BE SOME PEACE IN JAMAICA

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