KINGSTON — The opposition has called for a thorough investigation and full public disclosure of Saturday’s robbery in Portland in which Minister of National Security Peter Bunting was allegedly involved.
In a statement yesterday, Opposition spokesman on National Security and Justice Delroy Chuck said the it was with regret that the Parliamentary Opposition learnt of the unfortunate incident and that it was relieved that the minister was not injured and had suffered no serious loss.
However, he said that given the conflicting accounts of what happened, it was imperative that a thorough probe ensue. He noted that while the minister has asserted that it was a burglary, as opposed to a hold-up, there are reports suggesting otherwise.
“It is therefore important, in the public interest, that there is nothing less than a thorough investigation into the incident and full public disclosure of the results of such an investigation,” he said.
“We must be able to determine whether the minister was in fact held-up at knife point and robbed of personal items, including an i-Pad. We must be able to confirm whether the police did in fact work throughout the night to recover the items reportedly stolen from him, how it was recovered and whether any arrests have been made,” Chuck stated.
“The country could have it no other way because, at this point in time, it is minister Bunting’s credibility that is at stake, since he is maintaining that the incident was a burglary and not a robbery, as some accounts have suggested,” Chuck noted.
He urged the government to treat the opposition’s call as a matter of urgency, considering the national and international implications, in the context of the current crime level and the efforts being made to deal with international crime issues such as the lottery scam.
“While we are grateful that it was not a life threatening or more serious event, it is our view, that Minister Bunting’s run-in with criminal elements serves to underscore the pervasive scourge of lawlessness and criminality that has been unleashed on our society in recent times. None of us are safe, and the criminals are becoming increasingly brazen and persistent in their activities,” Chuck said.
Media reports since Sunday have suggested that Bunting and a companion were poolside at a villa when the robbery occurred. But Bunting has denied those reports, stating that he was visiting American friends at the Portland villa, which was burglarised and “a laptop and a couple cellphones” stolen.
“No one was robbed. I lost nothing,” Bunting told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday. (Observer)