Wilson Laleau, former Minister of Finance with connection to Panama Papers may be picked as Haiti's next Prime minister

Posted by hougansydney.com on Thursday, January 12, 2017 Under: Corruptions
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Today, the President elect of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, has met with the country's interim president Jocelerme Privert, and Prime Minister Enex Jean Charles, to essentially launch the transition process leading up to the installation of the businessman as the legitimate president of the country on February, 7, 2017.

The soon to be President introduced Jocelerme Privert and Prime minister Enex to his transition team, which has Wilson Laleau, former Minister of finance during the Michel Martelly administration at its head. A powerful position which signals that Wilson Laleau may later be tapped to serve as Prime Minister. The head of the transition team is responsible for helping the President-elect pick the team that will make up his future cabinet.

The choosing of Wilson Laleau however as Prime Minister, would be problematic and would cause many controversies and frictions because there are many questions that the former minister has not yet given any satisfactory answers to, especially regarding his connection to the biggest financial scandal to have hit Haiti, during his tenure as Haiti's Minister of Finance. 

The Panama Papers scandal in regards to Haiti was broken out on April 27th, 2016 by the Miami Herald, following an extensive analysis of some of the 11.5 million documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm that were leaked by the ICJH , some two months after Michel Martelly had left office and Wilson Laleau was no longer handling the financial business of the country. A scandal that showed how highest Haitian officials were profiting millions from deals that they were negotiating on behalf of the country. No one has yet answers for these serious corruption crimes, despite a special commission that the Haitian Senate announced that it would put in place one day after the story was made public.

Wilson Laleau's connection to the Panama Papers is due to the fact that he was the boss; the one who hired Georges Andy Rene, to head the Investment Center Facility (CFI), a branch of the minister of finance that was responsible to attract foreign investments in the country. The big problem with the CFI is that its General Director, Andy Rene, the right arms of the government with "Haiti is open for business" as its slogan, created several secret offshore companies in Panama to benefit personally from these transactions. The deal that particularly stood out the most among all the shady businesses was a petroleum contract that Haiti strucked with the rich in natural resources, Trinidad and Tobago. A contract which Andy Rene, as the head of the CFI pushed the Minister of Finance to sign with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Panama Papers would later reveal that Andy Rene created Proteus Holdings S.A. An obscure entity that would acquire 50% of SNIPP, the company that would later be responsible for transporting the oil from Trinidad to Haiti. SNIPP may have received beneficial tax deals from the government of Haiti.

In response to the Miami Herald article, former Minister of Finance Wilson Laleau said that he was not aware of Andy Rene's double role. That may very well be. But that also means that his ministry didn't do its job of probing companies responsible for handling the country's largest transactions. And because of the failure of his Minister the country lost tens of millions dollars from corruption, under his eyes and other high ranking officials such as Laurent Lamothe, who also said that he had no idea that Andy Rene was setting up a commercial operation to benefit from the accord.

Wilson Laleau's bad judgement on this matter shows how unfit he would be for the post of Prime minister, and how corruption could become more rampant within government in Haiti. Plus Wilson Laleau has no business in government until Andy Rene, arguably the second most powerful man in the Ministry of Finance during Laleau, is held accountable for his financial crimes.

In : Corruptions