Us corruption complaint filed over st lucia oil agreement
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Us corruption complaint filed over st lucia oil agreement

Us corruption complaint filed over st lucia oil agreement

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Us corruption complaint filed over st lucia oil agreement Document Transcript

  • 1.   US  corruption  complaint  filed  over  St  Lucia  oil  agreement     WASHINGTON,  USA  -­‐-­‐  A  complaint  has  been  filed  with  the  Department   of  Justice  (DOJ)  in  the  United  States  under  the  Foreign  Corrupt  Practices   Act  (FCPA)  in  relation  to  a  contract  purporting  to  grant  oil  exploration   rights  over  some  eight  million  acres  of  Saint  Lucia’s  maritime  territory.     The  46-­‐page  complaint,  which  Caribbean  News  Now  has  seen,  names   Saint  Lucia’s  prime  minister,  Dr  Kenny  Anthony,  and  RSM  Production   Company  (RSM),  a  Texas  company,  along  with  its  president  Jack  J.   Grynberg.  Caribbean  News  Now  has  also  seen  a  written  notification   confirming  receipt  of  the  document  by  the  DOJ.     According  to  the  DOJ  website,  the  FCPA  was  enacted  in  1977  for  the   purpose  of  making  it  unlawful  for  certain  US  persons  and  entities  to   make  payments  to  foreign  government  officials  to  assist  in  obtaining  or   retaining  business.     “Using  the  FCPA,  the  Department  helps  ensure  that  US  companies  and   individuals,  as  well  as  foreign  companies  and  individuals  where   appropriate,  are  held  accountable  when  they  pay  bribes  to  foreign  
  • 2. government  officials  in  order  to  get  business,”  deputy  US  attorney   general  James  Cole  explained  recently.     Specifically,  the  complaint  notes  that,  in  or  about  February  2000,   Anthony,  as  then  minister  of  finance,  planning  and  sustainable   development,  signed  a  contract  with  RSM  that  purported  to  grant  the   company  an  “Exploration  License”  in  respect  of  territorial  maritime   resources  belonging  to  Saint  Lucia  amounting  to  8,726,263  acres.     However,  under  Saint  Lucia’s  Minerals  Vesting  Act,  all  minerals  in,  on  or   under  any  land  in  Saint  Lucia  are  vested  in  and  controlled  by  the  Crown   and  only  the  governor  general  may  grant  a  licence  to  prospect  for   and/or  mine  such  minerals.     Further,  although  the  contract  provides  that  RSM  shall  pay  a  royalty  to   “the  Government”  (as  required  by  section  5  of  the  Minerals  Vesting  Act),   it  goes  on  to  state  that  the  liability  of  RSM  in  this  respect  shall  be   discharged  by  paying  such  royalty  to  the  minister  and  not  the   government.     The  complaint  states  that  these  facts,  among  others,  establish  probable   cause  that  a  crime  has  been  committed  to  warrant  investigation  and   possible  prosecution  under  the  FCPA:     1.  The  contract  was  signed  by  Anthony  purportedly  as  a  Saint  Lucia   government  minister  but  who  was  not  in  fact  legally  authorised  or   empowered  to  do  so;     2.  The  contract  was  approved  neither  by  parliament  nor  the  governor   general  of  Saint  Lucia;     3.  Royalty  payments  under  the  contract  are  to  be  made  directly  to  a   public  official,  not  the  Saint  Lucia  government  itself;     The  complaint  in  question  is  an  allegation  of  possible  unlawful  conduct.   The  allegations  must  still  be  investigated,  prosecuted  and  proven  in  US   federal  court.