The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) posted on its Facebook page that Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, received US$9000 in his private account from China International Contractors, in February 2017.
A source close to the PPP told Kaieteur News that the party’s general secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, has evidence of the transaction, and that he is getting ready to release it.
At the AFC’s press conference yesterday, Dominic Gaskin, said that he would put his head on a block and bet that Patterson did not have the money deposited into his personal account.
But Patterson responded just a day after the post, that there is nothing wrong with what happened. He admitted that money was deposited into his bank account by China International Contractors Association,
Patterson said that the organisers committed to reimbursing travel-related expenses up to US$10,000. For this, he said that Cabinet permission was sought and received.
The trip was paid for by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), his statement said.
“I attended the conference and some time in 2017, a refund for my travels was processed and paid to me as the attendee.”
Patterson stated that he remitted the money to MARAD. He added that this practice is not unusual as it relates to funds reimbursed for international travel.
He provided a letter of invitation he received on April 25, 2016 to the 7th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum organised by the China International Contractors Association and Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.
The conference was held over two days from June 2, 2016 in Macao, China.
Patterson now suspects that the PPP accessed his personal banking information. He has sought legal counsel, and has instructed his lawyers to take legal action against “any offending party”.
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