Former Grenada Foreign Affairs Minister Oliver Joseph says under the New National Party (NNP) administration a policy of accepting cash for diplomatic passports existed.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell says the Polish national had claimed that in June this year, amid the general election campaign, he was asked to pay US$290,000 for a diplomatic passport, with US$150,000 for the State and US$140,000 for the NNP’s constituency office in St George South.
However, Joseph denied the allegations saying he did not know that the money went into the bank account of the NNP office.
“We have the records…. The Cabinet’s conclusion said that it was US$290,000 to the State of Grenada. The last time I checked, the constitution does not establish the New National Party South St George office as part of the State of Grenada, so my free advice now is that the New National Party South St George office, or the New National Party for that matter, should kindly hand over to the state of Grenada the US$140,000 that magically found its way into your bank account,” he said at the town hall meeting at the Grenada Trade Centre.
But Mitchel made it clear that his government will not grant the request for the money to be returned.
“I do not know who advised the Polish gentleman…. The gentleman has been asking back for his money. The State of Grenada has no intention of paying back any money to anybody, but I also want to point out and give some free advice to the South St George New National Party that you might have to pay back the man his money,” he said.
Adding, “This is essentially trading in diplomacy or, more specifically, trading in a diplomatic passport. This administration has put a stop to this, we will not do it, it is wrong. For a government, days before an election to be suggesting to people that they could be made diplomats in the middle of an election campaign ridiculous and that is the kind of challenge that we have to treat with,” Prime Minister Mitchell declared.
Grenada’s financial laws mandate that financial transactions of EC$10,000 and up deposited into an account must have a source of funds declaration.