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Contractor General launches probe into PNP 'agent fee' scandal

Published:Monday | September 5, 2016 | 9:27 PM
On Monday evening, representatives from the OCG and the police turned up at the party's head offices and served summonses on Dr Omar Davies and Paul Burke.

The Office of the Contractor General (OCG) has started a probe into allegations about agent fees being paid by Chinese firms operating in Jamaica.

The People’s National Party (PNP) made the revelation in a statement Monday evening.

According to the PNP, on Monday evening personnel from the OCG and the police turned up at the party's head offices and served summonses on senior PNP member Dr Omar Davies and PNP General Secretary Paul Burke to answer questions under oath as part of the probe. 

LISTEN: Paul Burke at www.soundcloud/JamaicaGleaner

The PNP also says given the OCG's investigation, the party’s Integrity Commission will suspend its planned probe into missing campaign donations.

Meanwhile, the party says it will not make any further comment on the matter.

The PNP has been embroiled in a scandal after Davies went public last week rejecting suggestions he said were made by Burke that it's an established practice for Chinese investors to pay kickbacks to government officials.

Davies accused Burke of claiming that it is customary for large Chinese firms to pay agent fees ranging from 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent of the total project cost.

IN PHOTO: Dr Omar Davies

He further said Burke claimed that usually, the portfolio minister names the agent, and the agent fee amounts to US$10 million to US$12 million.

In a statement to the media last week, Davies claimed that Burke told a PNP National Executive Council meeting that a significant portion of that fee should have gone to the PNP campaign fund, but this did not happen.

The Chinese Embassy and Chinese firms have rejected the claims about agent fees.