Police have started a probe into the financial transactions surrounding the account set up by OBA consultants. *iStock photo
Police have started a probe into the financial transactions surrounding the account set up by OBA consultants. *iStock photo

The Bermuda police have launched an investigation into the JetGate scandal.

Four days after One Bermuda Alliance Chairman Thad Hollis released the findings of his investigation of the matter, police confirmed they have started a probe to determine whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in the political mess that forced former premier Craig Cannonier to resign in May.

“The Bermuda Police Service Financial Crime Unit has commenced enquiries to determine if any criminal offences have been committed in relation to the financial transactions associated with The Bermuda Political Action Club account,” read a brief statement released by a police spokesman yesterday afternoon.  

“No further information with regards to this investigation will be released at this time.”

The Bermuda Political Action Club was a bank account set up by OBA consultants Derrick Green and Steven DeCosta. A group of seven American businessmen donated $350,000 to the account, with the understanding that the money would be used to help the OBA campaign in the run-up to the 2012 election. 

The donations have raised questions of quid pro quo as one of the businessmen — Nathan Landow — was interested in developing the old Club Med site in St. George’s. 

All parties involved in the matter have denied there were any special political arrangements or quid pro quo, but Mr Cannonier stepped down in May as questions persisted and political pressure continued to build.

Section 111 of the Criminal Code Act of 1907, which deals with “official corruption”, states any public officeholder who asks for any benefit in exchange for government action or lack of action is guilty of a misdemeanour that can come tethered to a $50,000 fine or five years in jail.

Both Mr DeCosta and Mr Green have said the Bermuda Political Action Club account was used to pay for grassroots campaigning. 

Mr DeCosta explains how it was set up — and how the money was used — in an exclusive interview with the Sun today

Mr Hollis said the party’s executive did not know about the existence of the account until a year-and-a-half after it was set up.

Mr Hollis, who has not returned messages this week, acknowledged that the scope of his investigation into JetGate was limited. 

He was shown printouts of withdrawals made from the account, reportedly to pay grassroots campaign workers.

However, he said the bank account has not been audited and that he relies on “the veracity of Mr Green and Mr DeCosta”.

He said he was “unable to ascertain if any funds were paid to other parties, other than what was shown to me — to pay for the grassroots campaign…

“Tertiary accounts are beyond the purview of this investigation and personal accounts are not available to this form of inquiry,” he wrote. There is no legal requirement in Bermuda that would force campaign donations or expenditures to be made public. Police have the power to legally obtain bank details and transfer information, but would need a court order to view such records. 



JetGate Exclusive:

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