Sunday Express Editorial

ONE year ago, during the debate of budget 2019, Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal grabbed headlines with the claim that he had a document from a bank in Miami into which millions of dollars had been deposited.

Under persistent demands from MPs he said the names “Keith Rowley” and “Vidya Deokiesingh” were on the wire transfer documents.

He also read out an email addressed to It was purportedly sent by Vivian Baksh of A&V Drilling and began with “Dear Honourable Prime Minister” and contained details of a banking transaction with an account number.

In the ensuing days, the email address turned out to be that of the Prime Minister’s cousin. Regarding the alleged bank account, the Prime Minister denied having a bank account in Miami while a Miami businessman, Charlie Diaz, said although the account number was that of his company, he had never done any business with a company named in the purported email, nor paid any money to Keith Rowley or Vidya Deokiesingh. Both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Diaz dismissed the email as fake with Dr Rowley calling on the police and the Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate Dr Moonilal’s statement and make their findings public. He has since filed legal action against Dr Moonilal.

Fast forward one year to another budget debate and along comes another headline-grabber from Dr Moonilal with a web of allegations about text messages, emails and wire transfers again featuring the names “Keith Rowley” and “Vidya Deokiesingh”.

While declining to disclose the beneficiaries of a wire transfer, shortly thereafter a document purporting to be a wire transfer with the names “Keith Rowley” and Vidya Deokiesingh” was released on the Internet. Once again Dr Rowley has dismissed the document as fake.

In an editorial on last year’s allegations by Dr Moonilal, this newspaper called for an urgent and independent police investigation into Dr Moonilal’s allegations while urging all parties to refrain from innuendo. In so doing, we pointed out the irony of Dr Rowley’s assertion of being a victim of fake emails given his own central role in the so-called “emailgate” of 2013 when he read into Hansard emails with a barrage of unproven allegations against members of the then-People’s Partnership Government. It took the police two-and-a-half years to conclude its investigation with the finding of no evidence to support its allegations.

Some genies, once let out of the bottle, are impossible to put back. In this latest round of allegations and denials, the truth-seeking public remains the group most unserved. While loyalists will back their sides, the large majority are interested in distilling facts in the politically-charged environment. Dr Moonilal did not do himself credit by his conspiratorial interpretation of a photo involving leaders of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union which was swiftly proven to be untrue. He is, however, on the parliamentary record as stating that his latest documents are real, an assertion denied by the Prime Minister. As before, this newspaper urges Commissioner Gary Griffith to step up the investigation into this matter to bring clarity to this issue of great doubt.


Recent street protests in Algeria, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Russia indicate a groundswell of political discontent that stretches across the globe. Leaving aside environmental rallies, 

AS Haitians continue to put their lives on the line in their quest for democratic government, Caricom and the people of the Caribbean must hold the line in insisting on a Haitian-led resolution which moves the process from street confrontation to negotiation.

When flights arrive in Trinidad at nights, as they frequently do, what impresses me most is not the hovering darkness but the thousand points of light dotted over the central plain and concentrated along the corridor and foothills of the northern range.

Death threats come with the territory of holding high office, especially in a high crime country. The Commissioner of Police has been quoted by the newspapers in the past two days as saying that there were 27 death threats made against him.

IN this pre-election period the average T&T citizen has an immense responsibility to demand that we participate in drafting election manifestoes together with our likely representatives. My personal concerns are health, education, the environment and of course crime and security.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, tells us that the service sector is the key to this country’s diversification. The Minister suggests that T&T’s long run growth is likely to occur when there is a greater shift towards the production and export of services.