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Crawford: I want to mend fences

Published:Sunday | December 18, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Former chairman of Century National Bank Donovan Crawfordcame back to Jamaica last week for the first time after being away for 16 years.

Crawford told The Sunday Gleaner that he came back to his country to build some bridges and mend some fences for the present and the future.

He is not happy with the manner in which the government shut down the Century financial entities in the 1990s and says it was a very inhuman, hostile and very brutal blow to him, CNB investors, shareholders and his relatives.

"The way the closure was handled will go down in Jamaica's darkest annals because it was a very devastating blow to indigenous entrepreneurs and the people of Jamaica," he emphasised.

Crawford says, albeit , he will be optimistic and will not give up hope because his commitment to Jamaica remains very strong.

"The example that was brought to bear on me is or was perhaps the biggest deterrent to growth, confidence, trust and indeed integrity that our leaders have sought to develop," says Crawford.

He was, however, reserved when asked to comment on the Financial Sector Adjustment Company's (FINSAC) commission of enquiry.

'worst grabber'

Crawford said there were those who wanted to paint him as the 'worst grabber' who wanted to get rich and nobody had paid him the courtesy to correct that impression. According to Crawford, it was being reported that he owned six Skyline townhouses in Jamaica but he said that was not true. "The subsidiaries are not mine, they are CNB subsidiaries, he stresses.

"I have done nothing wrong, I have not siphoned off or robbed anything or anybody. ", he stressed.

Crawford, who now lives in Atlanta, USA, was at the Supreme Court last week Thursday. He has a suit in which he is seeking to recover $2 million allegedly owing for rent on a house in Sterling Castle, St Andrew. The defendant is denying the claim and the case has been put off to June next year.

Following a United Kingdom Privy Council ruling in 2005, assets belonging to Crawford, CNB and its entities were sold to recover $4 billion in loan and interest to the government-owned Financial Institutions Services (FIS) which is now taken over by FINSAC.