Saturday 21 July, 2018

AG: Serious criminality in roulette gaming sector

Attorney General Faris Al Rawi says there is serious criminality in unlawful roulette gaming in Trinidad and Tobago.

“We are talking about issues of alleged murder, we are talking about threats, harassment. We are talking about significant criminality. These matters are under investigation as I speak,” he said during his contribution on the Motion to confirm the Provisional Collection of Taxes Order 2017.

He praised the Minister of Finance for his plans to ensure there is enforcement of the law in the gaming industry.

 “In our obligation to regulate this industry, the Minister of Finance has done a very important thing. He has secured a building, bodies and an army of personnel to check establishment by establishment on the foot and ground in Trinidad and Tobago as we go through the exercise of investigating every property in Trinidad and Tobago.

“And in dealing with that we will identify the casinos, the amusement bars, the positions and therefore the reporting back to the new and improved structures in Government and you will enforce the law,” he said, noting that it will tie in to Government’s campaign to tackle white collar crime with litigation and legislation.

Al Rawi also urged casino workers to let their owners know that they can afford to pay them despite the increased taxation.

He said the gaming industry is the only one in the country which realises a return on investment in 12 months.

“There is nowhere else in this economy where the return on Investment is 12 months. In an environment where there is money laundering, in an environment where there is a potential for criminality as proven by cases in law.

He referred to a $1.6 million tax evasion case in the US where a businessman was found guilty and spent 46 months in prison. The source of his funds, he said, was from the Trinidad and Tobago private members clubs where monies were paid into shell companies in the US.

“Workers need to understand the need to tell their employers they know they can pay the positions being offered by way of increase in taxation,” he said