« on: March 28, 2013, 05:06:25 AM »
FBI wary of T&T’s security agencies
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Federal investigators in the United States said yesterday they will not be sharing any information on an ongoing probe involving a senior government minister and his son. Sources said both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) were reluctant to share information with local law enforcement because they do not have confidence in the integrity of the local national security agencies.
The sources pointed out that should the Government of T&T make any request on the status of investigations and the individual(s) involved in the investigation, the US is not obligated to share such information, especially as they deem the investigation, which includes money-laundering, tax evasion and fraud, a “top-priority” matter. The response to any T&T Government request could range from “no comment” to “the matter is under investigation,” sources added.
Should the US make an extradition request for any individuals who may be able to assist them with the case, such a request will fall under the Central Authority, which comes under the Office of the Attorney General. Contacted last week, head of the Central Authority, Netram Kowlessar, said the US had not made any extradition requests for any government minister or any relative of any minister. Asked whether any intelligence agencies had requested information on the minister or his relatives, Kowlessar also said no.
Asked what the response would be if such a request came, he said: “I cannot say, it will depend on the nature. The Central Authority also deals with mutual assistance.”
Last December, Daryan Warner, son of National Security Minister Jack Warner, was taken into custody in the US by the FBI in connection with an investigation the FBI was doing. At the time, sources close to Daryan Warner said he was assisting investigators in a tax matter. As the investigation progressed, the FBI, through a prosecutor, approached a judge and requested that a sealed indictment be placed on the case.
The probe, which has been taking place for the past three years, has seen FBI investigators visit several countries and several US states, including Virginia, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
US sources said yesterday they were not ruling out the possibility of an extradition request to T&T for individuals who might be able to help them with their case, since investigations are ongoing and will take time. With the sealed indictment in place, sources said, this will allow investigators to concentrate on the “other major players” in the investigations.
Also contacted on the matter yesterday was Ambassador to the US Dr Neil Parsan. Asked if he had contacted the FBI or IRS in connection with the reports surfacing yesterday that Daryan Warner had been detained in the US, Parsan said: “Why would I make such inquiries, and what’s the purpose of me asking?” He added that he had not made any attempts to inquire, but in light of the reports surfacing yesterday, he would “make an assessment” to determine his next step.
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