Senate Approves Ministerial Order for Trafigura Investigations in Jamaica


The Senate on Friday (Nov. 30) approved a Ministerial Order, as the first of several steps to give permission to the Dutch authorities to continue investigations of Trafigura Beheer in Jamaica.
The Order, which was brought to the Upper House by Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, follows similar approval given by the House of Representatives.
In January 2007, the National Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Netherlands launched criminal investigation into allegations of bribery of Jamaican government officials by Trafigura Beheer.
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, in a statement in the House on (November 13), said that such an offence is punishable under the sections 177 and 158(a) of the Dutch Criminal Code.
At Friday’s sitting of the Senate, Leader of Opposition Business, Senator A.J. Nicholson, questioned whether the Jamaican Government should not conduct its own investigations into the matter, if it is convinced that there was wrongdoing.
“If that is the allegation, doesn’t that mean that a crime has been committed on Jamaican soil? So why, if you say a crime has been committed on Jamaican soil, why don’t you ask your own police to investigate it?” he asked.
Senator Lightbourne, in response, noted that it is not the Government who is “pushing the matter”.
“This is not the Government of Jamaica bringing the Dutch. What it is, is the Government of the Netherlands that is carrying out investigations into a Dutch company, a company that is within its own jurisdiction. So it is their investigation. The request was made under a Convention (Against Transnational Organised Crime) that we signed with them,” she added.
In November 2006, Mr. Golding, in his capacity as Leader of the Opposition, wrote to the National Investigation Unit and the National Public Prosecutor for Corruption, requesting them to conduct an investigation into the payment of Trafigura Beheer of $31 million to an entity known as CCOC Association, which was linked to the then minister of government, Colin Campbell.

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