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Did Plp Operate ‘Dirty Tricks’ Unit?

SOME of the purported screenshots from the group WhatsApp chat.

SOME of the purported screenshots from the group WhatsApp chat.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE Department of Public Prosecutions has been directed to look into viral allegations concerning a political “war room” and its purported campaign of dirty tricks against Free National Movement candidates in the run up to the 2017 general election.

Attorney General Carl Bethel confirmed yesterday the director of public prosecutions has been given the task of reviewing the claims contained in a string of videos, voice notes, and screenshots that have been widely circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp.

“I have asked the DPP to have a look at it,” Mr Bethel said. “It raised serious issues when I saw it.”

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell denounced the claims in a press statement issued last night, which asked for those involved to desist using the party’s name.

It read: “It has come to attention of the Progressive Liberal Party that there is a voice note circulating on social media claiming that the PLP engaged individuals to act on its behalf in the last General Election 2017, in the name of the War Room, to gather and issue false information on candidates of the opposing Party.

The statement continued: “The Party denounces the claim and states that at no time did it or its election machinery, in the name of the War Room, engage any individual in such acts which we condone as unethical and improper in our democracy.”

It is alleged persons were paid by supporters of the Progressive Liberal Party to gather and disseminate false information on FNM party candidates, including now-ministers Marvin Dames, Dionisio D’Aguilar and Jeff Lloyd.

The videos and voice notes detail a personal, unrelated disagreement between two members of the purported war room, which unleashed a litany of allegations as the pair tried to discredit each other.

In one voice note, a man who identified himself as a former police officer and investigator, says: “Sometime last year during the election time, I was called into the PLP war room to conduct investigations...my job in the PLP war room was to find out certain things on certain people who were running for office who are presently in office, my job was to conduct surveillance on certain persons who are present ministers and to find dirt on them...apparently when certain dirt could not be found, I was asked to lie on these persons.

“...Persons like Marvin Dames, the minister of national security.... I was asked to lie and make up stuff on Marvin Dames...I refused to do it...I was asked to lie on Jeff Lloyd...I was also asked to make up stories on Mr D’Aguilar.”

The purported screenshots depict exchanges between war room members in a group WhatsApp chat.

In one screenshot, a user purportedly details “morning assignments for the day,” and states: “I need you to mash up the FNM up on their instability and childish antics…your task today is to talk on the importance of universal health care…your task today is to talk on the importance of food security and BAMSI…we need them things done on Jeff Lloyd, Marvin Dames, and D’Aguilar. . .”

Mr D’Aguilar, minister of tourism, came under fire on the campaign trail when leaked documents confirmed his company Superwash Ltd provided “falsified invoices” in 2014 to the Customs Department, and as such, paid less duty than what was owed.

Superwash was fined $15,000 and ordered to pay the remaining balance which was done several weeks later in January 2014.

When the information surfaced in April 2017, Mr D’Aguilar admitted that the invoices were altered but claimed that Superwash “was the victim of a fraud by an unscrupulous broker.”

Yesterday, FNM Chairman Carl Culmer declined to comment on the matter as there was no evidence the allegations were credible. He suggested it was up to the police to determine whether the matter is formally pursued.

• The article printed on Monday states the Director of Public Prosecutions has been “tasked with investigating the veracity of claims contained in a string of videos, voice notes, and screen shots that have been widely circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp”. However, the DPP does not investigate matters, instead the office refers a matter to the police if it deems so appropriate. The police will then consult with the DPP after they determine if there is sufficient evidence for a charge.

Comments

HonestTruth 9 months ago

This should not be hard for anyone to believe. When you go on Facebook, you see PLP operatives spreading fake news every single day, it’s ridiculous. If you were to specifically follow James Julmis, he in particular spreads a ton of propaganda, it’s ridiculous the level that the PLP would stoop just for political points.

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HonestTruth 9 months ago

Not hard for anyone to believe, the PLP is a party of fake news and propaganda

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Ma Comrades it has long been part our local general elections campaigns by both main stream parties wearing both colours t shirts be at work attempting to drudge up any embarrassing things that might be out there to brungs discredit opposing party and their election candidates... so ain't like one is more purest-free dirty trcks... and if you have make stuff up - so be it... Why even the PM has taken to making up how the Guardian is constantly FAKE News reporting on him and his red shirts Imperial cabinet's polices and actions.This regime seems hell bent on looking new ways prosecuting and hanging people.

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Alex_Charles 9 months ago

This is so stupid. Why does anyone need to make up stuff about these guys? Criticism their positions on issues or their plans/policies or lack thereof. That's how you win a debate and show that you are a better party/candidate.

If this is true, the PLP as to dump all the dinosaurs from the party, it's beyond clear they care not to govern for the people, but rather their pockets. This is why we never have dates on policy in this country, none of these guys on either side have much to offer.

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hrysippus 9 months ago

The PLP party was always full of crooks, . … .. ….. They stole our money and then cooked up the books. . . . .. .. They flew first class all over the place, . . . . ….. If challenged at all, they would shout about race, . . . . …… At election time they told lies on their foes, . . . . .. .. back in the day in Freeport they hit with bad blows, . . . . …. They were evil and stupid, corrupt as could be, . . . … . You had to count up your spoons, if one came round for tea. , , , ,, Now that we look at this war cabinet lot, . . . . …. I heard that a leopard cannot change a spot.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

I guess we'll just have to wait for the text messages from the FNM's war room to drop. More proof of the subpar agenda presented by both sides. Tick tock..

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Alex_Charles 9 months ago

Both parties are failures, more so on the PLP. They both lack clear policy positions or the conviction to see the few policies they put through... even beyond their terms in office. They only govern with 5 years in mind, no long term strategic planning.

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licks2 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Proper assessments I would say. . .my position as well. . .policies or should I say laws are approached "hickatly pickalty" and all over the place. . .I must agree with you Alex. . .

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BahamaPundit 9 months ago

I've said it before, the PLP as a political party should be outlawed and struck off the list of eligible political parties. It is clear from the blantant thievery that ocurred during their watch that the Bahamas will not survive another term of them in office.

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BahamaPundit 9 months ago

The scary part is a large segment of the Bahamian population may not care if the Bahamas is ramsacked, looted and destroyed, so long as they get a sliver of the pie; so they might vote the PLP back in. At the end of the day we are a very unpatriotic country when it comes to filling our pockets.

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DWW 9 months ago

watch out treason is a hanging offense in this country. *sic

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BahamaPundit 9 months ago

The FNM may make me angry, but the PLP make me horrified.

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EasternGate 9 months ago

Any informed Bahamian knows that the PLP is a shitty, corrupt party. These allegations are quite believable.

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DWW 9 months ago

If its not actoinable in court why is this in the tribune?

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joeblow 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I thought it was common knowledge that the PLP IS a dirty tricks unit!

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licks2 8 months, 4 weeks ago

The PLP seem to have no moral compass and will do anything for the opportunity of power. . .

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