The front page issue in this week’s issue of THE NEW TODAY newspaper should raise many eyebrows in the country including those in the upper echelon of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Even the Prime Minister himself should be concerned that a man with a criminal track record as a sex offender of minors in the United States was able to pass through a crack in the door and land safely on our shores as part of an investment group.
What is even more alarming is the fact that persons rubbing shoulders from close up with the Prime Minister helped to facilitate his entry into the country.
Despite the fact that PM Mitchell will choose to refer to this newspaper as an “illegal” newspaper and a “scandal sheet”, THE NEW TODAY is duly registered in the Supreme Court Registry to do business in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
As matter of fact, this newspaper would like to bring to our government leaders the many current pitfalls so that not only the legacy of the Prime Minister but future leaders of the country and indeed the Government of Grenada will always be in tact.
It took a lady with an Internet connection to do a search and come up with the information that Mr. Erik Pedersen who operates the Winners Club on the Carenage is a registered Sex Predator from Chicago, Illinois in the United States.
Under U.S laws, persons convicted and labelled as “Sex Predators” have to be registered with the State in which they are living. Even if the person was convicted in New York and moved to Florida, he would get registered with Florida so that persons. Any simple primary school student can do a search on the Internet of the name Erik Pedersen and get all the information they need on this particular individual who might already be granted citizenship of this State.
The Pedersen affair also raises serious questions about the recent amendment to the sale of passport law, which now precludes the Government of Grenada from disclosing the names of persons granted Citizenship through the passport scheme.
It is a bad and questionable decision. Our government stands to benefit if the citizens of Grenada can help the government itself, through the use of the Internet, identify and unmask any undesirable person who might want to buy one of our passports.
Let the eyes of the people be used to protect the integrity of our leaders all in the national interest.
The information in our possession is that a law firm owned by a lawyer who is now a senior official of the government, as well as another person who is a senior member of the Cabinet are known and close associates of this so-called investor on the Carenage.
The Prime Minister would also need to investigate and find answers as to why the Immigration Department pussy-footed on the Pedersen issue after having full knowledge that he was a registered Sex Predator in the United States.
There might not be any laws on the Statute Books in Grenada to prevent these people from entering our shores.
However, our Immigration Department has the discretionary powers to grant access or deny entry of any non-national to the country.
How come the senior officers at the Department did not notify or give special instructions to its agents at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) to be on the look out for Mr. Pedersen after he left the country?
Did anyone within the hierarchy of the current government influence the Immigration Department to turn a blind eye on this declared Sex Predator when he choose to return from Trinidad?
The Prime Minister has made it known publicly that he would like to use the sweet 15-0 victory given to him by the electorate just over a year ago to address the question of his own legacy.
There is no need to return to those issues that has dogged the Prime Minister over the years like the Eric Resteiner briefcase, the crooks and conmen involved in the failed First International Bank of Grenada (FIBG), and the millions of finances wasted by the State in the E.J Miller saga at Mt. Hartman involving the so-called Ritz Carlton hotel.
Prime Minister Mitchell needs to move quickly and find answers to the Erik Pedersen issue because his political opponents, and quite rightly so, will seek to take advantage of the situation and poke fun at this particular “Investor”.
The NNP is already under pressure for the lack of foreign investors following the grand promise of “we will deliver” to win the 2013 general elections and to provide thousands of jobs to address the high unemployment situation in the country.
The likes of Nazim Burke, Joseph Andall and Randall Robinson will now seek to compare NDC’s delivery of the Sandals hotel project with the sex predator, Erik Pedersen and before him Steve Altman, the sex goods toys man who came in under a previous NNP regime.
Dr. Mitchell is no political fool and has been the most successful politician at the polls since Grenada gained its independence 40 years ago.
He will know what to do and do not expect him not to take action to ensure that his legacy is addressed for generations to come to look back at his historical contributions to this country.