The Integrity Commission has intensified investigations into alleged financial wrongdoings and corrupt practices at the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB). Centre of the investigation is its former Chief Executive Officer Ruel Edwards, who was recently appointed Director of Economic and Technical Cooperation in the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning.
During the ceremony to recognise International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December, Chairperson of the Integrity Commission Lady Anande Trotman–Joseph indicated that as of this week, the commission began interviewing individuals who may have information that can assist in their investigation. “We are not working alone. Yes, we are working quietly and confidentially, and we know that is causing Grenadians… to wonder… but we assure you, that come next week and leading right into the first quarter of 2019 this will be an unfolding page of news.”
News of this investigation created headlines earlier this year and has brought the management of MNIB under the microscope.
Lady Anande Trotman–Joseph said their investigation is in line with the integrity in public life legislation. “We are relying on our laws, in particular, we are relying on section 12(2)(b) of our Integrity in Public Life Act which allows us, and encourage us and empowers us to make use of the services or draw on the expertise of any law enforcement agency or the public service.”
In September the Integrity Commission was informed that Rupert Agostini formally recused himself from MNIB investigations which were made known to the commission on 7 August. The recusal of Agostini, who currently heads local accounting firm Agostini WR & Co, was as a result of his position as auditor of the said organisation currently under scrutiny.
The commission’s chairman also stated that Edwards should not be seen to be the only subject of the investigation, as various other individuals, including those who previously held a position at the MNIB, are also part of the investigations.
The commission also indicated that there are 5 investigations underway, with more to be launched in the new year.