Questions over OWTU refinery purchase
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal enters the debate on the budget. © 2019 Office of the Parliament.
President of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget is being called upon to answer whether former People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate Vidya Deokiesingh facilitated a meeting with A&V Drilling regarding the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery sale.
This, as Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal suggested that A&V Drilling was seeking to own the refinery through “backhand” channels.
He raised questions over possible manipulation by A&V Drilling as he made his contribution to the debate on the budget in Parliament on Tuesday.
His questions followed the circulation of a photo on social media, in which Roget was pictured with Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah and CEO and Managing Director of Sunstone Equity John Van Dyke.
Van Dyke was brought on by the union in October 2018 to provide a financial plan for its proposal for the refinery that would appeal to the board and government.
As the Opposition MP questioned whether Deokiesingh was the one who took the photo, he asked whether another entity was trying to gain ownership of the refinery.
“Is there some backhand way for persons who have been accused of fake oil and other offences, is this a backhand way that they will now claim the refinery?
After the taxpayer put $11 billion into the refinery? They will now claim it and look to make a good profit… it is the web that they are producing, and infiltrate… to get their paws on the refinery.”
Moonilal also claimed that the meeting appeared to involve the singing of an agreement
He called on those privy to the meeting to disclose details.
“I call upon the players to indicate to the public, when did this meeting take place? Where did this meeting take place? How this meeting take place, why this meeting take place?
What are they signing and could I ask them to confirm if Mr Vidya Deokiesingh took the picture that I have in my hand,” he asked.
Moonilal also questioned why a year later there was no update on an investigation by the police and others into a wire transfer to a Florida bank account allegedly linked to A&V.
“One year and one week later, where are the findings? Not one - police, Financial Intelligence Bureau, Attorney General - have made any findings public. Not one. Because I made the allegations I had the duty to continue on that matter because you know why I raised the matter.”
The Opposition MP said he resorted to his own investigation and uncovered these connections.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post on Tuesday night, the OWTU slammed Moonilal’s “fake bombshell” as it denied that there was any money transfer. The Union also said Sunstone’s initial involvement in its lease proposal for the refinery was no secret.
However, the OWTU stated that Sunstone has nothing to do with its current bid.
The Union is expected to make an official response to the allegations at a media conference on Thursday.