Minnis cabinet meeting on DPM fraud scandal
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and members of his cabinet will discuss how to handle the political firestorm ignited by a lawsuit that alleges that Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest was involved in a $20 million bogus scam.
Minnis had planned to stay quiet on the matter and wait for it to blow over but was forced to address the scandal publicly on Monday amid calls by several persons for Turnquest to resign.
Insiders say Minnis does not plan to ask Turnquest to resign because he was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and Turnquest has denied the accusations made against him. They added Minnis has only agreed to discuss the matter in hopes of silencing critics.
Turnquest has taken a beating publicly since a writ was filed last week by the law firm of Michael Scott, who Minnis appointed as Chairman of Lucayan Renewal Holdings and Bahamas Hotel Corporation.
According to the writ, “Between 2008 and 2017, the first, second and third defendants along with Turnquest, wrongfully and with intent to injure each Plaintiff and/or to cause loss to them by unlawful means and/or to enrich themselves, unlawfully conspired and combined together to defraud each Plaintiff and to conceal such fraud and the proceeds of such fraud from the Plaintiffs and thereby unjustly to enrich themselves.”
The lawsuit further alleges that, "As at 31 December, 2017, the conspirators had dishonestly caused Alpha to pay away a total of $20,680,337.33 to Sky Bahamas as, in each case, some kind of bogus loan."
They are also accused of dishonestly causing Advanced Aviation to send wire transfers totalling over $5 million to Sky Bahamas, causing Alpha to pay over $3 million to them via a company managed by Aviation Oversight (the third defendant) and using 39 fraudulent invoices and book entries to persuade Alpha to issue 37 cheques totalling $3.8 million to Sky Bahamas and Aviation Oversight between February 2008 and July 2016.