Sunday 23 February, 2020

Ferry fiasco? Mark urges Gov’t to come clean on Galleons Passage deal

An untidy and messy affair!

That is how Opposition Senator Wade Mark has described the issues surrounding the multi-million-dollar purchase of the controversial M.V. Galleons Passage vessel.

He made the comment as he piloted a motion in the Senate on Tuesday calling on the government to table the Valuation Reports and Memorandum of Agreement for the vessel.

Mark demanded that government must come clean, claiming there were a number of discrepancies surrounding the purchase of the passenger vessel.

This as he accused the government of undermining the procurement process.

The Opposition Senator also raised questions as to whether the vessel was brand new.

He claimed the vessel, originally called the Dona Mercedes was constructed for a Venezuelan client and should not have cost taxpayers more than six million dollars.

“How can the minister tell this country that this vessel was a brand new vessel when this vessel left this shipyard on sail of the China sea, since October of 2016,” he questioned.

Mark also claimed that information suggests that the same broker that offered three water taxis to the government in 2018 also offered the Galleons Passage on behalf of an affiliate in Australia.

He said he had evidence that the monies for the sale of vessel was paid to a private account.

Mark claimed that the $17.4 million dollars was wired transferred to a private company called Sea Management Corporation Services and not Sea Transport Corporation.

“This matter smells to the heavens,” the Opposition Senator declared.

Mark said the Opposition intends to write to the Australian authorities if Finance Minister Colm Imbert does not provide the relevant documents requested.

“I want to recommend and demand on behalf of the citizens of this country that the Government comes clean with this one. We intend, if the government does not corporate with this parliament, to write to the Australian Government. We intend to the Australian Security Commission and there is a unit that deals with following the money in Australia, we intend to right them, if the government does not table all the reports,” he said.

In his response to the motion, Finance Minister Colm Imbert described the claims as fake news.

"It's a figment of his imagination. I don't know know where he gets these wild stories," he said.

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