Opposition Senator Wade Mark is recommending that the police investigate the fake oil allegations.
He said the findings of the Kroll Canadian Consulting investigation, which confirmed Petrotrin paid for oil it did not receive, should be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the police and a Joint Select Committee (JSC).
Speaking during a private moton, Mark asked for the Senate to suspend the operations of A&V Oil and Gas’ contract pending an investigation.
Mark questioned the whereabouts of defeated People’s National Movement candidate, Vidya Deokiesingh, who was spotlighted at the centre of allegations in the fake oil scandal, stating that Petrotrin police could not locate him.
Mark said the audit stated that Deokiesingh would have accepted the operators’ high and low figures without verifying if they were correct.
Mark added, “He was there for a willing accomplice of the operator to defraud Petrotrin by overstating fiscalised volumes. The conduct of this gentleman is clear.”
Mark said there was a giant conspiracy by the People’s National Movement to use A&V to fund their 2015 election campaign and if this matter did not come to the fore the country would have been robbed of hundreds of millions of dollars.
He said it was ironic that this hypocritical Government talks about transparency and accountability, but yet they were silent on the findings of the investigations and wanted to cover up the issue.
Mark said it was being rumoured that the Government had given the green light to Petrotrin to allow A&V to continue to produce oil and had also refused to terminate or suspend A&V’s contract.
Mark declared, “We are calling on Government, if they are serious, to refer this matter to the DPP and police immediately. We want immediate action to be taken by the Ministry of Finance to suspend this operator’s contract whilst investigations into the audit committee report are ongoing.”
He also suggested that a JSC on state enterprises conduct a proper inquiry and investigation.
He stated, “This fake oil…ghost oil scenario…we want the Government to deal with the fraudster who has stolen the nation’s oil and we want the Government to take action by suspending this operator.”
In response, Minister of Energy, Franklin Khan, denied there was any cover-up, saying the issue involved due process. He said while Petrotrin plans to take decisive action, there was need to ensure any claim or action taken is not impeded by any missteps.
“In this case, doing it right is more important than doing it quickly.”
Khan said he got a brief from Petrotrin informing him that any premature disclosures could derail the company’s legal position.