Mr. Duprey is reported to have demanded an apology from Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for what he (Duprey), considers to be misleading information about his whereabouts during the recently concluded Commission of Enquiry into the failed CLICO conglomerate.
It is ironic that such an appeal should come from the chief protagonist and central figure in the CLICO Commission of inquiry in circumstances where he chose to absent himself and not take advantage of the opportunity to give his side of the story and clear his name.
Mr. Duprey’s financial empire crashed in the most distressing and humiliating manner amidst a quagmire of allegations of insider trading, mismanagement and improper financial dealings. Whilst it is heartening to note that Mr. Duprey has managed to find work as an international consultant to “restructure societies”, it is the Government and people of this country to whom the unenviable task of restructuring Trinidad and Tobago has now fallen.
It is a pity that Mr. Duprey did not see it fit to return and assist in the necessary efforts caused by the CLICO fiasco. This, after all, is the country in which he amassed his fortune and created the wealth that financed his billion dollar empire.
The collapse of Clico left in its wake a trail of despair, depression, destruction and financial ruin. Words cannot express the frustration and anguish experienced by citizens who lost their retirement savings and were forced to live on the limited charity of friends and relatives.
The policyholders and depositors have been demanding answers and explanations from Mr. Duprey to no avail. Indeed, the Commission of Inquiry was appointed by the President to provide a legal avenue for both sides to tell their story. To date, no one from the CLICO empire, including Mr. Duprey, has apologized to the thousands of grieving citizens whose hard earned savings have been compromised.
Perhaps I will consider apologising to Mr. Duprey for querying his whereabouts after he apologises to the thousands of loyal CLICO customers and taxpayers who must now finance the expensive bailout.
It should be noted that efforts to stabilize and resuscitate CLICO have thus far cost taxpayers over $25 billion dollars. The injection by the State of such a huge sum has deprived the present and future generations of the benefit of a brighter and better life. The money spent to revive CLICO could have been used to fight crime, reduce poverty and improve the quality of healthcare and education.
In explaining his prolonged absence from this country, Mr. Duprey has only created more doubt and confusion. On one hand, he boldly states, “I have never lived in Trinidad”. He also says, “there is a lot of work outside here, I don’t have to come back home.” Does someone have the right to refer to a place in which they never lived as their “home?”
A further insult to the people of this country is Mr. Duprey’s dismissal of the request by the Clico Policyholder’s group to return the Chaconia Gold Medal bestowed unto him in 1999. Mr. Duprey was reported to have responded, “If they want it, take it…I don’t need it.” Such a flippant and frivolous disregard for a National Award is the maximum insult that can be poured unto the citizens of the land who take pride in the country’s annual acclamation of its heroes and heroines.
Mr. Duprey’s latest rounds of media appearances from his peaceful abode in Fort Lauderdale appears to be a skilful public relations endearment towards sympathy; an unnecessary distraction at a time when the country and the region seek answers as to why innocent citizens have been cheated of their life savings.
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
May 16 2013
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO