ST. VINCENT: – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says he is being tracked by Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), the election consultants for the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
He accused the company of hiring someone to hack into his email account and interfering with his telecommunications.
Gonsalves this week called into a radio station from London, where he is on a private visit, and related “an interesting confrontation” with an SLC employee who was posing as a journalist.
Gonsalves said the man’s business card identified him as “Scherzando Karasu” and SCL’s “director of political affairs”. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
“This man, who is of mixed descent … fair-skin but looks Middle Eastern or Indian, Asian … says to me, ‘Are you the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?’ I said, ‘Yes’. He says, “I am a journalist. I want to ask you a few questions,’” Gonsalves said of the incident he said took place in the lobby of the London hotel where he is staying.
Gonsalves, who is political leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP), said the man inquired whether he was in London to raise campaign funds for general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), which are due by March 28.
He said he asked the man for his media credential and the man then said he works for SCL.
“I said, ‘But you are some kind of idiot to come and ask me whether I’m in London for the purposes of raising campaign funds. I said, ‘In fact, you are rude.’
“Now that is the kind of a tracking they are doing of the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said during his call to the radio station. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
“I want the people to understand this, the extent of the intrusion by these people into our politics. It’s now gone pass being campaign consultants. They are interfering with me and harassing me as I go about my legitimate business. I didn’t tell him why I am here but they are obviously tracking me,” he added.
Gonsalves discusses how the men might have known where he was staying in London, saying the information was not given to them by his office in SVG or the country’s High Commission in London.
“They could have found out from one or two other sources, I would admit. But it may well be – remember I raised the question earlier on that they were hacking into — they wanted to pay somebody to hack into my email,” he said.
“… Now — so, there are several issues. Possibly, they are interfering with our telecommunications – but they are definitely tracking the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I had to ask this fellow if he is an idiot and that he is rude. Because I saw him with a camera, I said, ‘Are you taking a picture of me?’ He said he would like to. I said, ‘Of course not.’ He may have taken one. I don’t know. His name is [Scherzando Karasu], ‘cause he gave me his card. He was a little startled with my robust response to him,” Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves’ claim is the lasts in a saga between him and SCL. Gonsalves, in an “open letter to the people of the Caribbean” last month, said SCl was among foreign forces undermining his government.