THE Ocean Flower II fiasco further highlights T&T on the map as a place friendly to international white collar criminals and impotent to fend off white collar crime. The fiasco is additional encouragement for foreigners to partner with untouchable local criminals to plunder the country.
White collar criminals see T&T's “attractive” Perception of Corruption Index scores. “Trinidad and Tobago was the 101 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2016 Corruption Perception Index reported by Transparency International.
“Corruption Rank in Trinidad and Tobago averaged 69.44 from 2001 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 101 in 2016 and a record low of 31 in 2001.” (https://tradingeconomics.com/trinidad-and-tobago/corruption-rank).
The Government has a responsibility to prosecute white collar fraud to dissuade white collar bandits from preying on the country. It should not merely cancel contracts.
Procurement rules are good for garbage. The same government and the same network of state regulators are moving afoot to contract some other boat. The feeling is the players is this debacle should go quietly—resign or dismissal. Not so fast.
If fines and prison terms are fair for petty traffic offences, then high fines and long prison sentences should result from breaches of procurement laws.
Is blue crime a multi-billion dollar problem like white collar crime? Does blue collar crime have tentacles to do damage to society like white collar crime? In T&T an average 450 blue collar murders per year doesn't shake the country like billions of dollars in government-enabled and/or ignored bureaucratic racketeering and embezzlement. A few episodes of sharp white collar crime robs the country as a whole every year. Notwithstanding this, T&T's anti-crime defences are weakest against white collar criminal violations.
I quote a reputable source: “Typical white-collar crimes could possibly include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider-trading, labour racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft and forgery.
“The penalties for white-collar offences include fines, home detention, community confinement, paying the cost of prosecution, forfeitures, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment.
“Sentencing guidelines suggest longer prison sentences whenever at least one victim suffered substantial financial harm. However, sanctions can be lessened if the defendant takes responsibility for the crime and assists the authorities in their investigation.” https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/white-collar_crime
So I end with this: embezzle funds from under the all the state's controls, checks and balances once, shame on you; embezzle funds from under the all the state's controls, checks and balances twice, shame on the Government's inefficient controls, checks and balances; but embezzle funds from under the all the state's controls, checks and balances every year from 1956 to 2017, 61 years, means mass institutionalised corruption and partisan fools for citizens who stay confident the state's controls, checks and balances.