JAMAICA: Ministry reports used car dealer to Fraud Squad - EntornoInteligente

Entornointeligente.com / Jamaica Gleaner / The Ministry of National Security has reported O’Brien’s International Car Sales and Rentals Limited, which entered into a contract to supply 200 pre-owned vehicles for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to the Fraud Squad.

The deal has been wracked with controversy since last year when it was revealed that O’Brien’s had failed to honour the stipulations of the contract.

The ministry and the used car dealership have been involved in a months-long impasse over the procurement of the 200 pre-owned vehicles. To date, only 30 cars have been delivered, despite the ministry paying out $218 million in advance.

In release yesterday, the national security ministry quoted its former minister, Robert Montague, stating: “I want to reiterate that at no point was a cent of Jamaica’s tax dollars at risk as these monies were protected by bonds, one of which we have already received and are in advanced discussions regarding the other.”

The ministry has received proceeds of a $42-million performance bond and is actively pursuing the proceeds of the advanced payment guarantee.

Montague, who was last week shifted to the Ministry of Transport, also said: “The handing over of the matter to the Fraud Squad should be taken seriously by all contractors and brings to bear the importance of performing on a contract.”

The national security ministry said it has handed over all relevant documents for the Fraud Squad to pursue the case. 

In recent months, Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) has intensified its probe into the matter.

During a sitting in late January, officials from Jamaica Customs and the Ministry of Finance sought to provide an update on the status of the contract.

It was revealed that some $8 million in special taxes remained outstanding on the 30 vehicles already delivered, and $16 million in duties for more than 60 cars awaiting clearance.

Yesterday Montague said that the ministry, “in its dealings did all that was required”.

He added: “It is the contractor who failed to perform.”

-Maurice Silvera

 

JAMAICA: Ministry reports used car dealer to Fraud Squad

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