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Jagdeo claims Noel Blackman donated dirty money to PNCR; Oscar Clarke denies

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has claimed that the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) has received campaign financing from former Health Minister, Dr. Noel Blackman’s illegal distribution of painkillers in the United States (US), but a top party official has bluntly denied the accusation.

“How much of the drug money that Mr. Blackman was involved in…went into the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) campaign because he was a big donor to APNU?,” Jagdeo queried at a news conference. The PNCR is the largest partner in APNU which is in government along with the Alliance For Change (AFC).

Jagdeo leveled the accusation on Wednesday, August 24, 2016- the same day that Blackman pleaded guilty to the offence of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a controlled substance. He remains in jail pending sentencing on January 6, 2017. Back on February 7, 2016, federal agents ordered a Guyana-bound plane, which was taxiing at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, to return and Blackman and his baggage including more than US$30,000 were taken off.

After describing Jagdeo’s accusation as “laughable,” PNCR General Secretary, Oscar Clarke said Dr. Blackman has not been associated with the PNCR  for the longest while dating back to when the late Desmond Hoyte was President and party leader.

Clarke also said he was certain that Dr. Blackman had not provided financing to the PNCR’s campaign activities. “I would strongly deny that. I would personally strongly deny that because I have no knowledge of such thing. I would deny it outright,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

The privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper reports that Homeland Security Investigators and the US Drug Enforcement Administration said Blackman had issued approximately 2,487 prescriptions for more than 365,000 oxycodone pills last year, a big jump from the 21, 810 and 3,810 of oxycodone pills that he prescribed in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Blackman reportedly told investigators that it was possible that some of his patients were addicted to oxycodone; that he charged around US$300 to see patients at this pain management clinic and that he typically saw approximately 100 patients per day which he estimated at one patient every six minutes.

Asked to back up his position that the former Health Minister had not been associated with the PNCR for a long time, but had been selected to be Chairman of the Board of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Clarke said he was unaware how he was selected as Chairman. “It has nothing to with me and nothing to do with the PNC as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Clarke said his party was still in favour of campaign financing legislation even if it means the disclosure of donors. “That’s part of the risk that you have to take, but we agree with it…As a matter of fact, it will lend to transparency,” said Clarke, a long-serving member and General Secretary of the PNCR.

Jagdeo also used the opportunity to criticize government for hiring drug convict and deportee, Lear Goring, in the Debt Management department at the wholly state-owned Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).

The Opposition Leader recalled that while his People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) was in office and he was President, the then opposition PNCR had consistently sought to link him and his party to drug traffickers. “Everything used to be Jagdeo friend in the past whether I knew the people or not. It has to be our friends and the PPP was doing this,” he said.

Evidence had been led in a United States court that then Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had given government authorization to a United Kingdom-based company for the purchase of sophisticated triangulation and mobile call interception equipment. A Guyana Defence Force (GDF) patrol had arrested now convicted drug lord Roger Khan, who is in a United States jail, and several of his cohorts with the equipment and guns at the height of a violent crime spree by heavily armed gangs that had been based in the East Coast Demerara village of Buxton.

Prior to being snatched by American federal agents in Trinidad and taken to New York to face trial for cocaine trafficking, Khan had stated that he had helped prevent the PPPC-government from being toppled.

  • Surujpaul Rampersaud

    Mr. Clarke, if you are in favor then you can start the ball rolling by declaring the election donors to the PNC then you can call on the PPP to declare their funders. My thoughts are all the political parties have skeletons to hide. None of them will be willing to cooperate.

    • Emile_Mervin

      Both parties should reveal their donors and let us witness the silence from supporters on both sides of the divide.

      • rs dasai

        Have no fear, Hell will not freeze.

  • Col123

    Jaggie continues to be a hook on the nose of this govt. ..

  • rs dasai

    A question, not an accusation.

    • Col123

      Did not know you are a lawyer!…it’s an accusation in the context….and based upon the denial and a profusely defensive response⛳️

      • rs dasai

        I do not even know that I am. ( Am not). The question can be construed as an accusation, but it still remains a question. But responding to the question as if it is an accusation lends credibility to the question as if it is an ‘accusation’. Mr. Clark is an old experienced politician who denies the ‘accusation’. But his denial is personal and the ‘thought’ is still there. Unless the ‘books’ are laid bare, we still do not know. And if the ‘accusation’ is true, so what?
        You show me yours and I will show you mine.

    • Emile_Mervin

      Jagdeo asked a question that obviously inferred Blackman helped financed the PNC, and it would be no different from anyone asking how much dirty money the PPP received from its principal actors in the illicit drugs, fuel and guns smuggling trade, or actors who received government contracts for no-show supplies of goods and services or shoddy workmanship.

      What is ironic is that Jagdeo is brazen enough to even ask such an inferential question given he oversaw an era when dirty money became part of the clean money system to sell a rosy economic picture.

      Guyana is in an economic standstill partly because dirty money players are being closely watched so they are slowing their illicit activities.

      • Col123

        Too bad you that you are not the President of Guyana.. With all that information , Guyana would have been light years ahead of its neigbours in development…and Jaggie would have been in jail rotting…

        • Craig Hughes

          She, sorry, he should be….rotting in a prison basement.

      • rs dasai

        Inferring so does not make it so. Both sides ask the same questions of the other side. NO Gvt can stop ‘dirty’ (?) money from getting into the country. And since such is from outside , is it the GVT responsibility to do what about it? Who complains ?

  • rs dasai

    Be calm my friend. We are all pawns in ‘their, all of them.’ politics. We have the same pay grade. 10% increase.
    Let us see how it plays out. Have a good night.

  • rs dasai

    Even with a pea brain, he still bowls a lot of bouncers. Without proof (on both sides, or 3 sides? ) we will never know the ‘truth’

  • Col123

    And how much clean ones did your boy Van west Charley drug trafficker friend contributed?..

  • Col123

    You forgot to add van west charley and his drug trafficker friend… he had a laundry that contributed clean ones to your coffer..

  • Col123

    The amount of stuff you and others know about PPP would make anyone believe the you were either sleeping with them..OR .. in cahoots with them . You and including others seem to know when phone calls are made to those PPP folks. If it is not heresay, then a any one can conclude that you or others were present!

  • cuffy

    Black-money to the pnc.

  • Col123

    I have said it before…gossip columns do not excite me…Taking trash from garbage media has never been an exploit of mine.. Your idea of wrath is the throwing trash…I happen to know better.

  • rs dasai

    Rea son.
    Lay off Col. You only say what you read from what news others write. Pure speculation. And for the record, Col needs no sympathy.Read his thoughts.

    • Col123

      These guys are political propaganda spinners .. who can’t even bowl a doosra. They lift pieces from Freddie…and other other junk commentators..One even went as far as to state a phone conversation between RK and Ramsammy after Waddell’s execution…as if he was there. They have no respect for references….and I am not intimidated..

  • Col123

    Retreat?..white flags are for losers like up some more from dem boys seh and need that stuff to earn your keeps with your pitiful comments..I need the laugh!

    • Reason

      A bigger white flag

      • george wiltshire

        I believe that at least 50000

        guyanese should be standing up outside the parliament demanding Granger do something about Harmon and Norton. Let them know that we do not want anymore of that lawlessness.

      • Col123

        A black flag it is

  • rs dasai

    If Dr. Jagdeo is not qualified to talk about’dirty’ money, why is he being accused incessantly of being associated with such?