The Robert Martin Oveson affair has lessons for both the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on conducting business with foreign investors.
It is clear to THE NEW TODAY newspaper that there is a flaw in the due diligence process that is done on non-nationals by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
Anyone reading the front-page issue of this week’s edition of our newspaper will see the proof that was presented on the Criminal Record of Mr. Oveson in the State of Utah.
This is not something made up by this newspaper as anybody with a computer and access to the internet can go online and do a search of the website “Utahsright.com” and scroll to Criminal Cases and type in the name Robert Oveson and read what comes up on the screen.
A further check made by this newspaper with the State Prosecutor Office in Utah resulted in us getting the Court Records of the Case against Mr. Oveson listed as No: 121500106 and the jail sentence imposed on him by the Judge, Todd M. Shaughnessy.
The people who put out a statement on Monday on behalf of the Levera project were engaged in semantics in order to try and hoodwink the public into believing that this individual is above board.
There was an attempt to make the public believe that Mr. Oveson has a clean record from INTERPOL, FBI, Mexico and Nevis.
This release made no mention at all of the United States where Mr. Oveson was born. Why? Is someone trying to hide from the Grenadian public the conviction record of Mr. Oveson in Utah?
THE NEW TODAY is willing to share with the FIU the information that it obtained from the State Prosecutor office in Utah on this individual when in fact it was the job of the FIU to get that kind of information as part of its due diligence work.
The taxpayers of this country are paying this department of government to do an important job, which relates to national security and the issue of value for money is very important in appraising the work performance of the officers within the unit.
This newspaper notes that in the release from the Levera people it was stated that Mr. Oveson has ceased to be a Director of the two companies that were set up to do business in Grenada with effect from December 2016.
However when THE NEW TODAY spoke with the man now being promoted as the Developer of the Levera project who incidentally is related to Mr. Oveson, he told us that the man quit “a few months” ago.
When we pressed him to give a precise month, he became very defensive and was reluctant to continue talking on the subject matter. Who is fooling who?
A check with the Supreme Court Registry revealed that Mr. Oveson is still listed as a Director of Levera Trading Ltd and Grenada Citizenship Development Ltd.
THE NEW TODAY wish to request of the FIU to engage Canadian citizen Robert Mason who has court documents from Mexico which indicate that an arrest warrant was issued by a judge in Manzanillo, Mexico for alleged fraud against Mr. Oveson.
One Bogar Salazar, LLB, judge of first instance of the 29th Judicial District signed this order.
This is free information given by this newspaper to government and the FIU in order to conduct a new and proper due diligence on Mr. Oveson.
The Oveson affair should lead to a serious review of the process used by Grenada to check the background of all persons attracted to the passport-selling scheme known as Citizenship by Investment (CBI).
Government can learn something from the Roman Catholic Church when bands of marriages are announced.
A period is given for persons with information to come forward and state why a marriage should not take place between two individuals.
If government puts the names of prospective CBI persons in the public domain, then Grenadians at home and abroad will be able to do their own checks and find out whether these individuals have questionable backgrounds.
It was an ordinary Grenadian who led us to the “Utahsright.com” website to unearth the information about Robert Martin Oveson.
If a government chooses not to open up the process and become more transparent then it has something to hide and as Grenadians we should become very suspicious.
Grenada is turning 43 on Tuesday as an Independent nation but it is a shame that so many crooks have managed to fool our leaders in their mad rush to bring “jobs”, jobs, jobs” and more development for the tri-island State.