Asot Michael, the independent candidate for St. Peter, is calling for all the funds he has on deposit with from the Caribbean Union Bank (CUB), as he reportedly has been denied access to his personal account and his family’s money.
REAL News correspondent George Wehner went to the Friars Hill location of the bank, where Michael and members of his campaign team had gathered, on Thursday, January 12.
Michael says the situation is a huge problem, given that he has been banking with the financial institution for over 14 years – since its inception and even prior to the Government taking over its operations. He says that, at one time, he was even a shareholder of the bank.
Michael is alleging that this nefarious action – being denied his own money by the bank – was taken at the behest of Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
He explains that funds sent to him by his sister, from Miami, have been blocked, and his cheques have not been honoured, and he needs money to meet his many financial obligations, including paying his workers and members of his campaign team, which reportedly number over 400 persons.
Michael claims he made attempts to speak with the manager and chairman of the bank in order to sort out and rectify the situation; but they have refused to accept his calls, he says.
Accordingly, he speculates that the authorities might have given them instructions not to deal with him.
The independent candidate is demanding his money and all of it in cash; and he is questioning the solvency of the bank, which, he says, could not process a request for $50,000.
Michael alleges that this latest move is Browne’s attempt to stymie his election campaign, since the people of St. Peter are endorsing him and rejecting the Labour Party candidate, Rawdon Turner.
Meanwhile, he says he is no longer interested in doing business with CUB and wants to close his accounts there.
Michael’s assertions that the Prime Minister could be involved in the blocking of access to his bank accounts could be true – based on a Facebook post by Browne.
Browne posted that Michael, whom he refers to as “Satan,” in quotes, is destined for the pit of hell.
He added that he would be writing, on Thursday, January 12, to the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to ensure that the office, along with other law-enforcement agencies, are on Michael’s case of alleged bribery.
According to Browne, his administration does not recognize or support any immunity for the St. Peter candidate, whom he accuses of trying to defraud the State, and he expects that the Office of the DPP will cooperate fully with the British crime agency.
As a parting shot, Browne said that criminal elements should be in jail and not in Parliament.