(Trinidad Guardian) Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has accused Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissesar of slandering the country and marring its reputation with her statements linking him to a find of US$2 million by customs officers.
Speaking during a People’s National Movement (PNM) public meeting in Chaguanas on Friday night, Rowley said he was shocked to see on the news that Persad-Bissessar was calling him out by name to account for the US$2 million that the Customs found in a container in Trinidad.
“We, as a small struggling country trying to make our way in the world, seeing how difficult the waves are ahead of us, how steep the mountains to climb, we enjoy a fairly decent standard of living in this country.
“A lot of that being maintained is dependent on foreigners coming into our country and investing their money in resources in this country and we share the profit and benefit in the process.”
He said in light of massive oil and gas discoveries in the US which would have the effect of increasing competition in the world market, now was not the time for Persad-Bissessar to be seeking to tarnish the country’s reputation.
“We are now to compete for attention from people outside. That is the time when Opposition Leader could tell the world that the Prime Minister of T&T has something to explain because money has been smuggled into this country obviously with criminal intent and the Prime Minister knows something about it and must tell her about it,” Rowley said.
“Do you want any more reckless behaviour than that in 2016?” he asked the crowd.
He said it was perhaps possible that Persad-Bissessar knew more about the matter.
“Is it that Kamla Persad-Bissessar knows more than the police and the customs? If she knows then tell the police. If she knows enough to know it’s somebody who goes home by the prime minister, well tell the police too.”
He said as a former prime minister, Persad-Bissessar’s words could be reported around the world.
“That she as a former PM is calling on the PM to explain the presence of $2 million found by custom and she know people going to the PM house involved in that, then would investors say that’s a place we want to go to invest.
“The problem in the UNC is that when one going down the road over a cliff, none can pull him back.”