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‘I’M Focusing On Work, That’S All’

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said he is focused “on the work of the Bahamian people” yesterday as observers await word on how Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and his Cabinet will respond to allegations of fraud that have been brought against him.

He told reporters before a Cabinet meeting yesterday morning: “I think you guys have known me for at least eight years now, most of you, and I’m focused on what I do.

“I’m very disciplined about what I do. The matters that are circulating out there are unfortunate, they will be dealt with in the due course of time, but again, I’m focused on working for the Bahamian people while I have the opportunity to do so and I will do the best to ensure we get through this crisis.”

Asked about calls from the Progressive Liberal Party for his resignation from Cabinet, he said: “We’ll see what happens but as far as I’m concerned I’m focused on the work of the Bahamian people.”

Dr Minnis on Monday told reporters Cabinet is deliberating on the matter.

A statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court last week claims Mr Turnquest and his Sky Bahamas business partner Captain Randy Butler, “dishonestly caused” Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation to “pay away” $20.68m and $5.917m respectively to the airline via “some kind of bogus loans”.

However, Mr Turnquest is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit and no particulars were giving describing how the scheme worked, but the plaintiff alleges Mr Turnquest and Captain Butler used “some 39 fraudulent invoices and/or book entries, and for no adequate consideration” drained away some $3.8m paid by Alpha Aviation to Aviation Oversight Group via 39 separate cheque payments between February 2008 and July 2016.

A further $3.026m was also alleged to have been siphoned off “as at December 31, 2017, to AOG Maintenance Ltd, a company that owned Sky Bahamas’ maintenance hangar at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

“In breach of their duties of honesty and fidelity as directors and/or managers of both the plaintiffs (Alpha Aviation and Advanced Aviation) and of the second and third defendants (Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight Group), and their duties to act in the best interests of the companies, Turnquest and Butler failed to keep or to ensure that the companies kept any, or any adequate, financial books of account or financial records recording and/or documenting the companies’ financial transactions, failed to maintain or keep any proper or any proper management accounts or bank or cheque or wire transfer reconciliations and failed to put in place any or any adequate financial controls or systems,” the statement of claim by the plaintiff’s company alleged.

Mr Turnquest and Captain Butler have strongly denied the allegations.

Comments

tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Not surprisingly, it appears Turnquest is unwilling to do the honourable thing and resign. If Minnis allows Turnquest to remain as DPM and MOF, we fully deserve to be labelled as a banana republic by the international lending community and global financial regulators alike. This isn't about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. It's about doing the right thing under our system of government for appearances sake and putting country before self. Turnquest has no right or basis for behaving as if he owns the offices of DPM and MOF or as if he's indispensable and cannot be replaced.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

See Guardian's talkie host Comrade Juan is fit to form taken but 72 hours feel in hot seat pressure of his station's paycheque writers. How else so quickly do one of his redcoats hard to softballs switcharoos? Shakehead once for upyeahvote the talkie host that flew over to KP's nest, twice for not goin' count remove the station's target painted on his back.

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tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Repost:

It seems many know little about our westminster system of government. It is not left up to Turnquest to keep a dark cloud over our country until the courts have determined his guilt or innocence. Yes, Turnquest is innocent until formally made a defendant and proven guilty in a court of law. But that does not mean in and of itself that the awful publicity associated with the law suit, in which he is unequivocally labelled as a co-conspirator to the alleged fraudulent acts, is without compromising effect on the Minnis-led administration's ability to govern going forward.

Appearances and trustworthiness do matter, especially on the world stage for senior government officials who are responsible for the finances of a country. This is an inescapable fact and it is for this reason that Turnquest should have by now submitted his resignation as both DPM and MOF. It is the only honourable thing he can do to remove the dark cloud his predicament has left hovering over the Minnis-led administration and our country. The leaders of other nations, international lenders, foreign investors and global financial regulators should not be left to wonder about the integrity of our minister of finance in their dealings with our country.

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birdiestrachan 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Mr: Turnquest can save that one, he is working for the Bahamian people. He is working for HIMSELF. Mr: Turnquest save that LIE. You may need it for another time.

It appears as if when The FNM cabinet members meet, the question is what can be done to hurt the poor. The one with the hashes answers wins.

Increase VAT 60% take plastic bags, make them buy bags. even off the pennies and the list goes on.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Some sayin' Mr. Minnis's referring the embattled KP's fate over redcoats cabinet is laying glue traps for at a later time and date for em's sprung against ones long targeted elimination. Shakehead once for upyeahvote listen up Dioniso James, and Carl Wilshire, twice for not?

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Lord God, let it not be the truth as to why is it that the 35 House-elected redcoats have prioritised the need Permanent Voters Registry over proper accounting fallen victims to Hurricane Dorian, and COVID.Shakehead once for upyeahvote, twice for not?

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quietone 1 month, 3 weeks ago

For the life of me, I could NEVER understand why so many persons are saying that Mr Turnquest should resign. Even though I have great respect for those who are stating that he should resign, if I were he, and I was completely innocent of all I am being accused of, I WOULD NEVER EVER RESIGN OR EVEN THINK OF RESIGNING, PERIOD!!!!!

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

My Comrade QuietStone, your response to why the mainstream media since 2017, have had lots of time be focusing on the father/son beneficial owners the bankrupted City Markets but are now to pretend these questionable millions is fresh news just days ago crossing news desks, nor do I believe never before crossed the desk of the office of the prime minister?
Ask, are you clear to understand with clarity as to the when, how, to whom, and for how much was a reportedly said amount to a 70% shareholding in an airline company became divested....also, how and for how much money did one come to acquire that 70%?

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I say that Mr. T should not resign. . .he was not named in the court documents nor did they explain what is a :sham" loan! In America you can allege anything until you reach the court!! Now if that American dude did named him in the court documents I would have told him "go ma brudder" until the court says "you is free"!

Also the white woman accusations against Mr. T was already "kicked out of court". . .she was making things up against the man!

And the other white man says that Mr. T sham him. . .how? MR. T. . .IGNORE THESE CHICKENS DEM AROUND HERE. . .DO YA WORK. . .YA HEAR!!

Don't pay them PLP no mind eidder. . .they een know what Westminster ethics look like!! Ya just can't go around accusing any minister with all kind of dumb crap and expect them to leave their post just because somebody have a bogus beef with them. . .they must have some credible accusation for such a move!!

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Anybody found out what them bogus loans are as yet?? Anyway. . .NOBODY SHOULD BE ALLOWED OR GIVEN ANY CREDIBILITY WHO WOULD "ACCUSE" A PERSON IN PUBLIC BUT WHEN TAKEN TO COURT, REFUSE TO ACCUSE THE PERSON IN A COURT OF LAW!!

What kind of bull hockey this is?? I am very confused with this whole thing. . . DIS "WHITE MAN JOKIN" BOUY!

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