FIU Investigating Financial Irregularities in Local Steelband

A leading and influential figure in the steelband movement is now formally under investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for alleged financial irregularities.

THE NEW TODAY understands from reliable sources that the person was interviewed on Friday by the FIU based on a formal complaint lodged against him by a steel orchaestra that he had headed for several years.

The source who spoke on condition that he was not identified said that the band brought a file to the FIU last Wednesday with certain information and the individual concerned was called in two days later to be interviewed.

He said that the FIU was expected to conduct another interview with the individual this week.

“The man is in serious trouble”, said the source.

Another senior member of the band involved confirmed to this newspaper that a file has been handed over to the FIU and the individual was called in to be questioned on certain financial dealings involving the band’s money.

The file was handed over after several behind the scene manoeuvres to reach a settlement on alleged misappropriation of the band’s funds.

THE NEW TODAY also understands that both the FIU and Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) might also be called in by government to investigate the use of funds given last year by the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) to build a stage for the holding of the 2017 panorama competition.

Government was forced to set up a two-man Commission of Inquiry after the show was called off at the last minute as the stage was not built.

According to a well-placed source newly appointed Culture Minister, Senator Nolan Cox “is determined to get to the bottom of the no stage issue”.

He said that the Minister is concerned about the fact that “the SMC paid in full for a stage in advance and no stage was given”.

Speculation is rife that an individual linked to a steelband on the outskirts of the city might be called in and questioned by the FIU and Police about the money.

Sen. Cox has also instructed the Grenada Steelband Association (GSA) to conduct an audit of its financial business in the last three years in light of the use of the annual subvention given to the body by government to facilitate the annual carnival season.

THE NEW TODAY also understands that all is not well within the local steelband movement and moves are afoot to form a rival organisation now under the Presidency of Jason Skeete.

The architects of the move are said to be two persons involved with Angel Harps Steel Orchaestra and Commancheros Steelband.

There are reports that the two individuals were unsuccessful in their attempts in February to file a no-confidence motion against the present executive.

A GSA member labelled the action of the two as “treason” but said that it failed as other band members refused to go along with “the plot”.

THE NEW TODAY understands that a lot of money are passing through the various steelbands on the island but with little financial accountability taking place.

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