KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 13, IWN – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Tuesday said he is not involved in insider trading.
His statement came a day after Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace announced that $1 million was withdrawn from Gonsalves’ mother’s account at the Building & Loan Association while the Ministry of Finance was supervising it.
The withdrawal took place on Oct. 1, 2012, said Gonsalves, who also said he did not know that his brothers had withdrawn the money.
Gonsalves quoted from 2009 and 2012 reports on the BLA that revealed shocking details of its management and loan portfolio.
A loan to a member of the former New Democratic Party administration was not paid for 11 years. There was also a $2.9 million loan to a company that had no corporate resolution for, in addition to no insurance for the loan.
He further said that “a major figure in the management” had a loan of $971,043 but payments were made “spasmodically”.
“Now, let me pause here to say, I had this information in 2009,” Gonsalves said at a press conference.
“You would think that because my mother has over a million dollars there in special deposits, which she and my father has built up since the 1940s, I would go and tell them — I’d say, ‘Mommy, this thing is in complete — this things has problems; take out your money,” Gonsalves said.
“I didn’t utter one single word to them,” he further stated, adding that others should not judge him by their own standards.
“I don’t get involved in insider trading. I consider the position which I have to be a sacred position and I would not make use of any information which I received to advise any member of my family in relation to any institution which is under my supervision.
“I am not made like that and the people of this country, who have known me politically over the past 45 years, against some of the parvenus — the just comes, they have a record by which to judge me,” Gonsalves said.