Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Camillo Gonsalves has declined to comment on allegations that Deputy Consul-General at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consulate in New York, Edson Augustus, was recalled on Friday because of his handling of the issuing of some Vincentian passports.
The Minister, however, said that he has seen persons claiming that they have “information” and urged them to report their information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which he said, will conduct a thorough investigation into all claims.
The Ministry announced on Monday that Augustus was recalled after the Ministry received “sufficient confirmation” of report that the former diplomat was “involved in activities outside the scope of his employment and inimical to the interest of the Consulate General and the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.
Asked on Tuesday about allegations, that Augustus acted inappropriately in his handling of the nation’s passport, Gonsalves told I-Witness News, “I am not in a position to comment at this time.
“The statement that we released captured what we are prepared to comment on at this time,” he said in reference to the brief, four-paragraph statement that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released on Monday, announcing the recall of Augustus.
“And if you notice, it indicate that we are continuing to follow up and investigate some of the claims and it would be premature at this time to make any definitive comment on any additional matters,” said Gonsalves, a former UN ambassador.
“I will note, however, that there has been some rather wild speculations from various quarters about what has taken place and I will urge that people exercise some patience while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts a thorough investigation into all claims.
“And I will also ask that if anybody has any information — because I see a lot of people claiming that they have information — that it would be appropriate in my view, that they share that information with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
Gonsalves, however, said he was not aware of any criminal investigation into Augustus’ action.
He further said that up to Monday, the former diplomat was yet to return to St. Vincent.
“But I would anticipate him returning shortly,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs told I-Witness News.
Augustus was appointed a diplomat in May 2011, three months after resigned as a Seventh Day Adventists pastor.