Home Affairs Minister Edmund Hinkson wants regulators to act wherever the law allows against ICBL, whose overseas parent has admitted that the local firm paid a bribe for a Government insurance contract.
The St James North MP was responding to constituents who queried why local regulators have remained quiet about ICBL over the alleged bribery scandal and whether the company will face any consequences.
“In terms of ICBL we have regulatory bodies here. They need to do their work,” Hinkson told a Barbados Labour Party constituency branch meeting at the Gordon Greenidge Primary School on Sunday night.
ICBL’s Bermuda-based parent BF&M issued a statement late August stating it had swiftly admitted to the US Department of Justice that now-dismissed executives in the Barbados company had made payments to a Government official in order to secure the insurance contract in 2015 and 2016.
BF&M had also paid DOJ a fine for the illegal activity.
Former Government Minister Donville Inniss is currently facing money laundering charges related to that incident in the US.
“I don’t want to comment specifically on the issue,” Hinkson told his constituents, but in pointing to possible lack of activity by local authorities on the matter regarding ICBL, he said, “for example the Commissioner [of Police] made a comment when he was asked in terms of the incident
. . . . The Attorney General responded saying he wasn’t happy with that comment”.
Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith had said in early August, shortly after the news of charges against the former Minister broke in the US, “we only pursue matters where we have a complainant, and as far as I am aware no report has been made to us”.
But, hinting at dissatisfaction with inaction by local law enforcement agencies, Hinkson said to his constituents Sunday, “everyone needs to be equal before the law . . . I hate to see poor people or people who are at a disadvantage in terms socially or society on the whole and that because people might have wealth or because you are a big corporation you get away with something that others will not get away with”.