Like me, I’m sure you were shocked to read the story of the pastor of a church in Longdenville allegedly going to Central Bank on December 31st to change 29 copying paper boxes containing $1 million each in old cotton $100 notes into brand new polymer notes. I read somewhere that the money is as a result of “tithes” (this is not my boy Teddyson saying Tides…allyuh too stink) collected over the past 40 years.

The natural reaction to this story is outrage. I’m sure we’re all thinking about the number of underprivileged people including flood victims, orphanages, animal shelters or even the unemployed he could have helped with that money. The fact that it was reported as his personal funds makes it even more obscene. What is also obscene is that the pastor have $29 million in old 100s and probably more in other smaller bills but can’t afford a decent “grip” or “metal drug dealer suitcase” to transport the money??

This story raises a plethora of questions for me, some of which should be of national interest. For instance, how was this pastor able to keep this money safe for so long when if I have a box of gazette paper for 6 months is level cockroach and rat woulda probably eat it? That amount of paper he had lying around shoulda have his church overrun by vermin worse than the streets of Port of Spain or Rex Cinema back in the day when rat running over your foot during Silver Fox (not Panday) “kick-ups”. I feel Pastor has developed a new industrial strength camphor ball using a focus group of grannies in the parish. We need this technology!

Another question I have is, how is it ok to disclose the pastor money situation and his transaction at the CBTT before any investigation is carried out and due process is followed? This reinforces that there is no such thing as confidentiality in Trinidad and Tobago. Everybody quick to pull you square to give you the “Ess” about anything and they always start with the typical “doh say I say eh but…” So now the Bandit Association probably adjusting their 2020 – 2023 strategic plan to target all these churches who may have container loads of polymers just chilling in a room somewhere. Next time you go to church look out for the smell of sins and new plastic.

Finally, what I really want to know is why is it that information like this is always disclosed as if the authorities are actually doing something and then months from now there is silence on the outcome? What about all the other suspicious transactions, why no mention of them? The authorities said that months before the announcement of the new notes, 429 suspicious transactions, amounting to $749 million were flagged but up to now we are yet to see anybody charged.

Maybe they’re still investigating. Ok, could somebody out there quickly google or ask the neighbourhood maco in the history of Trinidad and Tobago, how many people have been convicted of money laundering and had their assets seized? Maybe these things happen and I’m not aware as I don’t read papers that closely, except for personal ads which are pure comedy.

Anyway, let me stop asking questions as we all know what happened to the cat and the Riddler.


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