Jamaicans Who Labour Don’t Vote – Oh How Tragic – Yet They Criticise The Political System So!!!!

You are either part of the system or  choosing not to be.  The best place your voice can be heard is at the electorate, a process that many of our educated fellowmen refuse to digest.  It is their silly belief that it matters naught whether they vote or not.  Why speak so passionately about the state of affairs, even having an emotional allegiance to a ‘party’, yet the physical act of casting a vote escapes you?  Then we have our fellowmen who voted a few times and have decided it makes no sense to continue to do so.  Why and how can one go about changing the minds of those who represent more than 1.3 million of our populous?  That is the billion dollar question, and at this time, I opine it is a waste to set about convincing them; not hopeless, but a waste.

The cost is an alarming one in a country such as ours where austerity has taken on a new term for me ie ‘band mi belly so till an now mi nuh ave nuh belly fi band’. 

As your figures suggest over the last three (3) elections voter turnout with an eligibility to vote of 1.4 million in 2002, 2007 and 2011, 1.3 million each; there was just on average, over 55% voter turn out in those years.  During the late 1970’s-1980’s the highest being 80%.  What does that say?  It speaks volumes and I say enough of the groaning and chastisement of those who simply don’t care about what it means to be able to cast a vote.  History cannot be forced, worse unto a people who enough are educated beyond grad school.  Do not make preparations for a 100% voter turn out.  Who says you must continue to do so?  In this case shooting for the stars is not going to cut it.  Shoot for the mango tree, and budget for a voter turn out of 40%.  We cannot afford to waste what we do not have.  If you surpass this range, then ‘tun u hand an mek fashion’. 

The Health sector could do with some of those finances right now.  It is shameful, irresponsible to continue to spend for a 100% voter turn out, knowing what you know and I have no reason to doubt your figures.  In my own circle, 2 out of 10 vote and will continue to do so; that is low.


 

ECJ chair bemoans low voter turnout at elections

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 29, 2015     28 Comments

 
Print this page Email A Friend!

 
 
 
 
 

Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica Dorothy Pine McLarty addressing the official opening of the 10th International Electoral Affairs Symposium at the Half Moon Hotel in Rose Hall, St James on Wednesday. (PHOTO: PHILLIP LEMONTE)

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) Dorothy Pine McLarty says voting apathy is causing millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to go down the drain because preparation has to be made for a 100 percent voter turnout.

The cost of staging the December 2011 general election, she said, was approximately $1.2 billion.

“Electoral commissions must prepare for 100 percent voter turnout despite the significant monetary loss when only half of the registered electors turn out to vote,” Pine McLarty told Wednesday’s opening of the 10th International Electoral Affairs Symposium at the Half Moon Hotel in Rose Hall here in St James.

Director of Elections Orette Fisher expressed similar views as Pine McLarty.

“Although it is a significant loss, under the system you have to make preparation in the event the turnout is large. But when they don’t turn out… it is a lot of money that could have been saved had we known. But the truth is we just can’t know,” Fisher told the Jamaica Observer.

He noted, for example, that there are useless items of stationery left over in the wake of a low voter turnout.

“We would print ballots to facilitate a 100 per cent turn out and then when you have 50 to 60 per cent turn out all that is discarded because it cannot be used again, specific to the election,” Fisher explained.

“… Also you would anticipate moving all of those ballots and so on, so therefore transportation would be taken into consideration [and] so that is where most of that loss would be.

“If you knew only 50 per cent was going to turn out you could basically almost end up with 50 percent of the stations and also reduce the workers,” Fisher added.

In the meantime, the ECJ chairman said it was the “feeling of pride in the right to vote by Jamaicans in the 1970s and 1980s [that] translated into a relatively high voter turnout during parliamentary elections in the past.

“For example, in the 1976 elections, the voter turnout was 72 per cent; while in 1980 the turnout went up to 80 per cent,” Pine McLarty said.

However, she said that in contrast there was decline in voter turnout in the last three parliamentary elections (2002, 2007 and 2011).

“In 2002, 59 per cent of the 1.4 million eligible voters [cast ballots]; in 2007, 61.4 per cent of the 1.3 million voters [participated]; and in 2011, 52.6 per cent of the 1.3 million eligible voters [turned out],” she said.

“We can’t be happy as a country. The percentage of those who said they won’t vote is too high. This can’t be acceptable,” the ECJ boss lamented. “The task of getting more people to participate in the democratic process cannot be left solely to the political parties,” she added.

“Stakeholders in the society like the church, service clubs, business associations and citizens groups, including neighbourhood watches, have a critical role to play in helping to rebuild pride in the democratic right to vote in this country,” Pine McLarty said.

She recommended social media be utilised as a means to encourage people, especially the young, to exercise their franchise and vote

Please like & share:

JA Passport Increase – Get Over It – Update – Part 11

I would have hoped some of you would have calmed yourself down and try to put things into perspective and not jump on the sinking ship with the rest of the sheep.  What am I talking about, what sheep, what ship?  Let it pass over if you have not grasped what I stated and get right down to some facts.  Remember as you do that your passport is valid for ten (10) years.  You would be surprised how many of our people are not aware of this fact even as we speak. 

Firstly, I honestly do not believe the increases are unjust.  If you appreciate the purpose of a ‘passport’, then you would be less hesitant to balk at the increase.  However, if you are balking at the notice given, again I ask, what would you deem to be sufficient notice?  Do you know your culture?  Think on that and answer the next question.  Are you a ‘last minute’ operator?  The hurricane is coming; you have been given adequate notice of the developments, yet on the Eve of the impending hurricane that is when chaos of our people is most felt.  We wait until the last minute regardless of any notice given to take care of our business, let us keep it real and be in truth. 

When did you say the deadline was?  Oh, I have some time.  I am the first to admit I am guilty of that.   Not often, nonetheless, I too suffer from that disorder.  So continue to fool yourselves that sufficient notice would have made any difference, and as for the costs, accept it or do without.  What is the purpose of a Jamaican Passport to you?


 

(Jamaica Gleaner, Sunday 31 May 2015)

Ja passport still cheaper than the rest

Even as thousands of Jamaicans blast the Passport Immigration and Citizens Agency over the pending increase in the cost of a Jamaican passport, checks by The Sunday Gleaner have revealed that even with the hike the official document will remain among the cheapest in the world.

However, this comparison is not adjusted for the standard of living or the per capita income difference among the countries.

The adult Jamaican passport is to be increased from J$4,500 (US$38) to J$6,500 (US$56) come tomorrow, but will still be cheaper than all the major regional and international trading partners, except Antigua and Trinidad and Tobago.

While the Trinidadian passport is for five years, the Jamaican passport is valid for 10 years.

Country Cost US$ Cost J$

Trinidad & Tobago $40* $4,631

Barbados $75 $8,683

St Kitts and Nevis $150 $17,367

Antigua $33 $3,821

Guyana $60* $6,947

Haiti $93* $10,676

Cayman Islands $122 $14,125

Jamaica $56 $6,500

United States $110 $12,745

United Kingdom $110 $12,745

Canada $209 $24,215

Canada $190* $22,013

* Passports are valid for five years.

Please like & share:

Great Herbs From China by Dr Tony Vendryes

TODAY ‘MADE in China’ is the common label that appears on a vast array of consumer products. But it would be short-sighted to think that this is just a recent phenomenon. Chinese goods and products have been in our lives for centuries. This is particularly true in the area of holistic health care.

Traditional Chinese medicine is a fantastic health system that integrates the use of many modalities like acupuncture and includes the widespread use of Chinese herbs. Today, I would like to highlight some of the Chinese herbs I myself have used and recommended for more than two decades.

Green Tea
 
This is the most widely consumed herbal beverage worldwide and has been used by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. Green tea is made from the leaves of the plant camellia sinensis that are specially treated by a steaming process. That makes it distinct from black tea, created by sun-drying the leaves.

Modern medical research has clearly demonstrated the many health benefits of green tea. Potent antioxidants found in the tea leaves called polyphenols have been found to benefit many conditions ranging from cancer, diabetes and hypertension to circulatory problems and high cholesterol. For example, Japanese research suggests that regular green tea consumption reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer.

More recently, however, scientists have focused on another substance found only in tea leaves, a unique, amino acid called theanine. Theanine is the predominant amino acid in green tea and gives tea its characteristic taste.

Research shows that theanine creates a sense of relaxation in approximately 30-40 minutes after ingestion by two actions. First, it stimulates the brain to produce alpha brainwaves. This creates a state of relaxation and mental alertness similar to that achieved through meditation.

Second, theanine increases the levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin to produce feelings of well-being and relaxation. People may thus use green tea to alleviate the negative effects of stress without becoming sedated, as theanine does not cause drowsiness. In fact, theanine seems to balance the stimulation of the low levels of natural caffeine in green tea.

Ginseng
 
The name ginseng includes several species of plants that have fleshy roots. The English word ginseng derives from a Chinese term that refers to the forked shape of the roots, which resembles the legs of a man.

For more than 5,000 years, the Chinese used ginseng for its rejuvenating powers as a highly prized and expensive herb. It was only in the 18th century that American ginseng was discovered and became widely cultivated and exported.

Herbalists consider ginseng to be an adaptogen. It helps the individual regain balance and provides energy and prevents fatigue. Ginseng stimulates physical and mental activity, especially in people who are weak and tired.

In addition to providing an energy boost, both Asian and American ginseng lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance sexual function in men and menopausal women. Korean research in 2002 revealed that 60 per cent of men who took ginseng noticed an improvement in their erectile dysfunction. One study from the Mayo Clinic revealed that ginseng specifically reduced fatigue in cancer patients.

Tang Kuei/Dong Quai
 
If ginseng is the premier male Chinese herb, then tang kuei is its high ranked female counterpart. This powerful root is famous in China for its amazing health benefits for all, but especially women. Tang kuei regulates the female menstrual cycle, works wonders for menopausal symptoms, helps to tone the female reproductive organs, and builds the blood in women who tend to be anaemic.

As it is also a good pain reliever, muscle relaxant and sedative, men also benefit from using tang kuei, especially in a tablet called Tang Kuei Plus where it is combined with another relaxing herb, chamomile.
 
Medicinal Mushrooms
 
Traditional Chinese medicine has used mushrooms for thousands of years, and practitioners in China prescribe more than 200 species of mushrooms. However, three mushrooms – Shiitake, Reishi and Maitake have been most researched.

Shiitake mushrooms: The shiitake mushroom is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms that Asians use as a stimulant to boost health, prevent strokes, and improve circulation. Shiitake mushrooms contain a substance called beta-glucans that has been shown to reduce the side effects of common anti-cancer treatments. In Japan, beta-glucans has been approved for use in cancer patients having chemotherapy.

Reishi mushrooms: Chinese medicine routinely utilises reishi mushrooms for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune strengthening abilities. Reishi mushrooms are considered particularly beneficial for heart and prostate health and for fighting cancer. Western medicine is now researching reishi mushrooms to treat hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, muscular dystrophy and prostate cancer. Reishi mushrooms also have a calming effect and promote restful sleep.

Maitake mushrooms: Maitake mushrooms are popularly used in the Orient to strengthen and improve general health and to manage emotional and physical stress. Modern research shows that the maitake mushrooms enhance the immune system, help stop tumour growth, and can make some chemotherapy drugs more effective and reduce dosage.

Additionally, maitake mushrooms may help individuals with high blood pressure, prostate cancer, HIV infections and diarrhoea.

I recommend the regular use of all these amazing health-enhancing herbs from China.

Please like & share:

Overweight in teens boosts middle age bowel cancer risk

  •  

    (Jamaica Observer)  

  • Teenagers who are very overweight may run double the risk of developing colorectal cancer when they reach middle age, according to research published Monday.

    Researchers tracked the health of more than 239,000 men who had been conscripted into the Swedish army between the ages of 16 and 20 from 1969 to 1976.

    At the time of conscription, around 12 percent of the men were underweight, more than 80 percent were of normal weight and five percent were moderately overweight.

    Of the remainder, 1.5 percent were very overweight — with a body mass index of between 27 and nearly 30 — and one percent were obese, with a BMI of more than 30.

    The conscripts were regularly checked for colorectal cancer for next 35 years, during which 885 cases — 501 colon cancers and 384 rectal cancers — were detected.

    Those who were very overweight as teenagers were twice as likely to develop bowel cancer in middle age, compared to subjects of normal weight.

    Those who were obese were nearly 2.4 times likelier to be diagnosed with the disease.

    The study, led by Elizabeth Kantor of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, appears in Gut, a specialist journal published by the BMJ.

    Previous research into obesity and colorectal cancer has looked mainly at adults. This is the first large-scale probe into the impact of overweight in teenagers.

    In adults, bowel inflammation has been suggested as a likely cause of the problem, but it is unclear whether this is the same among teens, said the authors.

     

     

     

    Please like & share:

    Charlie-Charlie Challenge – To Believe Or Not To Believe

    Our memories in this country are so short, then again, with the pace at which disaster attacks us; understanding of the lack is accepted.  Not so long ago, there were reporting’s of students being under the influence of unknown spirits based on their behaviours after experimenting with some game known to attract ‘evil’.  The occult is practiced world-wide and many Jamaicans relish in this exercise. 

    Do you believe there is evil and good on Planet Earth?  If your answer is yes as my own, then for the life of me why are you intent on dabbling?  Preventative measures, I fully adopt in most areas of my life, and the occult is no exception.  A Jamaican saying, ‘if u ears caan hear, u ass wi feel’.  Since we allow ourselves to be drawn to the occult and all memorabilia’s, commercial products associated with it, my response to it all is this.  ‘Wen di autoclapse ketch u, wha ever happen, u deh pon u own.  Nuh call mi, dead or alive, nuh call mi’.


     

    Pastor warns of demon possession playing Charlie-Charlie

    (Jamaica Observer) Friday, May 29, 2015 | 6:27 PM     58 Comments 

     Pastor Errol Rattray

    KINGSTON, Jamaica — A noted Jamaican pastor has sounded an urgent warning about the ill-effects of playing the creeping game phenomenon Charlie-Charlie Challenge.

    Errol Rattray told OBSERVER ONLINE Friday that the game should be taken very seriously, as it may release demonic elements causing the individuals who play the game to become possessed.

    He also added that those who are in the environment when the game is being played may also be susceptible to the powers of the demonic elements.

    “This is a situation that cannot be solved without supernatural intervention. Dabbling in the unknown opens individuals to the supernatural realm,” Rattray said.

    “Young people have inquisitive minds and are very adventurous, so they are easy targets. Parents should be very wary of the places children go and their company,” Rattray advised.

    Jamaica and St Lucia have banned the playing of this game in schools and advised that it should not be played at home either.

    The ban follows the reported illness of students in St Lucia who played the game, which invokes demons — and reports from teachers in Jamaica of students displaying disruptive behaviour and characteristics of being possessed.

    Moya Hinds

    Please like & share:

    FIFA, Warner’s Sons ‘Talk dI Tings’ – Update – Part 111

    Do not become overly impressed with anyone and dependent on their opinions of ‘you’; a philosophy I live and stand by.

    I have shared and in most recent times more frequent. You will become disappointed, alarmed and even hurt by those we relate to but never allow those reactions to ‘pierce’ you. Easier said than done you say, but unless you learn to develop those tools which will enable you to withstand, then continue to live and base your life through mere mortals. Your best chance in this life is to live with integrity, be in truth of your own self, then who you really are will be revealed each and every day of your existence without the ‘surprises’. The more you focus on the lives of others and their apparent ‘successes’ or lack thereof is the gateway to your own fears for ‘self-awareness’, refusing to face your own insecurities leaving you powerless. 

    Latest News

    Jack Warner’s sons flagged in US$ transactions

    (Jamaica Observer) Saturday, May 30, 2015 | 9:09 AM     

      

    Daryan (left) and Daryll Warner        

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – When the Warner brothers- Daryll and Daryan-attempted to dump huge amounts of cash into several US banks in mid-July 2011, it triggered several alerts while US authorities were probing a massive FIFA bribery scandal.

    In the unsealed indictments, both brothers are accused of:
    “(a) breaking down sums of currency exceeding $10,000 into smaller sums, including sums at or below $10,000, and depositing the smaller sums of currency into accounts with one or more domestic financial institutions.
    (b) conducting a series of currency transactions, including transactions at or below $10,000, at one or more domestic financial institutions, all as part of a pattern of illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period.”

    They attempted to deposit US$600,000 in cash at bank branches in New York, Miami (Flo¬¬rida) and Las Vegas (Nevada), the indictment reveals.

    In a two-day period, the pair sank some US$128,313.38 in 23 separate deposits at JP Morgan Chase, Well Fargo Citibank and Wells Bank of America through the use of tellers and automated teller machines (ATM).

    The complaints against the Warners show they made sure none of the deposits exceeded the $10,000 threshold, above which banks have to file a report to US authorities.

    On July 14, 2011, Daryan is said to have deposited 7,500 euros but was told he would have to fill out a transaction report since the amount was more than US$10,000 at the time, triggering anti-money laundering requirements.

    The affidavit stated Daryan asked for 500 euros to be given back, which effectively lowered the sum to just under US$10,000.

    Earlier that day, a similar amount had been deposited at JP Morgan in Queens, New York.

    The following day, another 7,000 euros was deposited at a Broadway branch of JP Morgan.

    Those red flags, which the affidavit states were later described by the Chase teller to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criminal agent, eventually led Daryan and Daryll Warner to co-operate with the investigation.

    When CCN (TV6 and the Express) spoke exclusively with Daryan in March 2013 outside his Miami condominium, at Brickell Avenue in South Beach, Florida, and posed the question whether he had spoken to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as we had been reliably informed then, he had refused to answer.

    In 2013, the two brothers secretly pleaded guilty, with Daryan admitting to illegally reselling tickets to the 2006 and 2010 World Cup for substantial mark-ups, with his father’s then close friend Chuck Blazer, former general secretary of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). While Daryll admit¬ted to a mortgage-fraud scheme, in which he lied about his income and employment to get a US$690,000 loan for a Miami condominium.

    -Mark Bassant
    TRINIDAD EXPRESS

     

     

    Please like & share:

    Wow – Bashing Of Foreigners From Turks & Caicos Finance Minister – WOW

    What say you Jamaicans living abroad, citizens and residence of other countries?  I have never heard such blatant honest comments coming from a Caribbean leader towards expatriates/foreigners.  We have some bold leaders on Planet Earth who defy the odds and ‘talk di tings’, much to the embarrassment of many of their colleagues.  I am always drawn to those persons in some degree who are able to say the unpopular or as some would say, down right rude, out of order, utterances in the public arena.  Confusing directness with being rude and out of order is a common assault amongst our ‘perfectors’.  This was not a brawl rather his own words uttered with such emotion that lead you to believe he spoke his ‘truth’ on the matter.  I opine that people should be able to express themselves thereby allowing the receivers to know ones true position.  Far too often we are controlled and domesticated to operate in a ‘flip flop’ mode, believing what others believe without having a clue as to who we really are and what it is that we can truly own.   I am therefore intrigued by Mr Misick’s comments and accept his statements as his beliefs which he is entitled to.  Do I share similar sentiments?

    I welcome migrants!  I crave exposure and for me one of life’s most exciting lessons can be learnt through other people’s cultures, experiences.  We all can learn from the ‘different’ and as a proud Jamaican, it has been my life journey to become acquainted and develop some form of friendships with persons who are diverse to my own culture.  My fascination and dealings with non- Jamaicans have allowed me to embrace my own culture often being a unique and proud Jamaican whenever I leave my shores.  I own and claim ‘Brand Jamaica’ as my circle claim and brand their own countries.  For that, wherever you seem to call ‘home’ as your final destination, I say celebrate the country of your birth, standing tall despite its challenges.  My only concern would be relating to public holidays and if foreign nationals would want to observe them.  If observing them meant businesses would close down which would in turn affect the host country’s economy then we would have to address that.  Otherwise, I say expatriates, never forget the land of your birth and for all my Jamaicans living abroad, ‘big up u country and mek di world no sey no matter wha, wi still dehya and nuff a wi still proud to be called a Jamaican’.

    One Love!!!!!!


     

    Stay away!

    TCI finance minister levels broadside against Jamaicans, other foreigners

    (Jamaica Observer) Friday, May 29, 2015    

     
     

    MISICK… if you want to be in Jamaica, if you want to be in Haiti or The Bahamas, stay there

    TURKS and Caicos Islands Finance Minister Washington Misick last week launched a blistering attack on foreigners, including Jamaicans, bluntly telling them to stay out of his country if they want to engage in public celebration of their cultures.

    “We have something coming up here called Haitian Flag Day. We have got Haitian Flag Day. We got Jamaica Day. We have got Bahamas Day. When the hell we going to have Turks and Caicos Day?” Misick, the former chief minister, was reported as saying by the TCI Sun newspaper.

    According to the article, Misick said that the best places that expatriates can practise their respective cultures are their homes, not the Turks and Caicos.

    “If these people want to be part of us we cannot encourage, we can’t support them with all these days, if we are going to be Singapore. If you are going to be in this country, be in this country, part of this country. If you want to be in Jamaica, if you want to be in Haiti or The Bahamas, stay there,” the TCI Sun story quoted Misick.

    According to the newspaper, the finance minister was making his contribution in the House of Assembly to a private member’s motion tabled by Opposition member Edwin Astwood, who lobbied for more environmental laws to be enacted and enforced. But Misick, the TCI Sun said, “veered off course into chastising immigrants for celebrating culture publicly”.

    He lashed out at persons in the private sector who, he said, are colluding with expatriates to observe and celebrate their countries’ milestones.

    “And that’s part of the problem, it is being encouraged by a lot of these different groups who are in senior positions in the private sector, who encourage this kind of stuff. So we have to send a strong message while we, as a people, have to make sure that we do the right thing by our country. And by the same token, we have to make sure that people who come here do the right thing by our country,” the TCI Sun quoted Misick.

    The newspaper also said that he urged the populace not to support events staged by expatriate groups to honour their countries’ cultural and political achievements.

    “We should not be supporting these splinter groups with their different days. You would never see me appear at one of them. I would not. This is Turks and Caicos, if you are here, this is Rome, do as the Romans do. If you want to be here, you contribute here; if you don’t want to be here, if you want to be somewhere else, then American Airlines flies here many times a day,” he was quoted as saying.

    The Sun published official figures showing that the Turks and Caicos Islands have a population of 31,458, of which 12,030 were British Overseas Territories Citizens and/or Belongers, 10,981 are Haitians, 1,768 are Jamaicans, 1,476 from the Dominican Republic, 818 from the United States of America, 524 from The Bahamas, 403 from Canada, 381 from the United Kingdom, 374 from Guyana, and 262 from other countries.

    The Sun, though, reported that Misick did give expatriate groups some credit as it relates to volunteerism.

    “We like to bash foreigners too, and then people who do the most volunteer work in this country are not from this country,” he was reported as saying.

    Please like & share:

    FIFA Scandal – Warner Breakfast In Jail, Then Leaves In Ambulance – Update – Part 11

    Jack Warner at 72 years of age, is no spring chicken, and I hardly think spending 3hrs in any  jail cell would provide comfort to a man of his stature.  This network of nefarious deeds was in operation for at least two (2) decades.  The fifties, his age, is a far cry from the seventies and I dare say, ones ability to withstand the ‘pressure cooker’ could prove strenuous and challenging to say the least.

    There is no humour in this disgraceful series of events, yet somehow humour may prove to be the balance between suicide, sanity, insanity and heart failure.  We have to dig deep to find that which we must end up laughing at otherwise we will start to ‘chant gibberish’ and you know where that can lead.  So the breakfast menu has been detailed, ‘Warner was fed bread, butter and jam with hot chocolate for breakfast. Last night he was given sardines in hops bread for dinner’.  This was on Wednesday, and today, Thursday, he is being chartered off in an ambulance to a private hospital.

    It is alledged despite his protesting todate, that his sons have pled guilty and provided information implicating them in collecting the ‘bribe’ money (in cash) re the South Africa World Cup saga on behalf of Pops.  As we say in JA, ‘woi, woi, woi’……………


     

    Warner leaves jail in ambulance  

    (Jamaica Observer) Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 5:46 PM    

     
     
     

    Jack Warner

    PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Austin Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice-president, left a prison here in an ambulance for a private hospital after securing bail late Thursday.

    Warner did not speak to reporters, who had been camped outside the Royal Jail on Frederick Street in Port of Spain, as he left the prison.

    On Wednesday, he was unable to secure his release from prison even after he was granted TT$2.5 million (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) bail by Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar.

    Warner was charged with 12 offences related to racketeering, corruption and money laundering allegedly committed in the jurisdiction of the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, dating as far back as 1990.

    US law enforcement authorities Wednesday arrested a number of FIFA officials as part of the probe.

    Warner, who was not called upon to plead, when he appeared in court, is to surrender his travel documents and report to the police twice weekly as part of his bail conditions.

    Media reports said that the deed which Warner had attempted to use in securing his bail, was not in his name but that of a company.

    Sources said that he would have been able to secure his bail if he was given a cash alternative.

    One newspaper reported that Warner was fed bread, butter and jam with hot chocolate for breakfast. Last night he was given sardines in hops bread for dinner.

    Warner is due to re-appear in court on July 9.

     

    Please like & share:

    The Admiral Coughs Up A Guilty Plea – Update

    When the news first broke of Admiral Bailey’s demise and the passport intrigue, many assumptions that were bordered on stupidity were swimming around.  It appears trying to look at the surface without attachment simply because you love someone’s music is out of the equation for many.

    I was always of the belief that with the story that was given by himself and his goodly lawyer, it made not one drop of sense.  If that was what was going to be held on to as the ‘truth’ I was not buying it.  One could have had a passport for 50 years which carries a shelf life of 10 years.  If the name on the passport is not the name on your birth certificate and you have not gone through a deed of poll, then whatever documents you furnished must have been fraudulent.  Are you going to complicate that simple procedure?  The length of time you held that passport travelling back and forth has no basis in the ‘truth’.  One could argue that ‘somebody’ was being thorough 3o year later, and prior to those years, you slipped through the processes as often happens.  There is a saying ‘one day, one day, it ago ketch up wid u’.

    So Admiral you pled guilty, pay your fine and put this unfortunate embarrassing issue behind you; life ole chap it is called life. Do what you do best; make ‘hard’ dancehall tunes.  Oh how can I forget ‘Big Belly Man’, big tune back in the day, I loved it so.


     

    Admiral Bailey pleads guilty to fraud, fined $160,000 or six months in prison

     

    (Jamaica Gleaner) Published:Wednesday | May 27, 2015

    Bailey… apologised to the court and Jamaica for his actions.
     
     

    Entertainer Admiral Bailey was today fined $160,000 he pleaded in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on fraud charges.

    The entertainer and former coach, whose real name is Glendon Orville Bailey was charged with uttering forged document, obtaining a passport by false means, attempting to obtain a passport by false means, possession of forged documents and conspiracy to defraud.

    In February, Bailey went to the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency where he attempted to renew a passport in the name Michael George Sullivan.

    During the renewal process, his true identity was revealed and he was subsequently arrested and charged.

    His attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, told Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey that his client had been using the passport for approximately 30 years.

    Bailey was ordered to pay $160,000 or serve six months in prison.

    After the fine was imposed, Bailey apologised to the court and Jamaica for his actions.

    Please like & share:

    FIFA’s Scandal – Jamaica Watch and Learn – Top Brass Can Be Caught – Corruption Is Not Unique

    Every human being was born in ‘sin’ making your choices in life to be either black or white.  Take it easy, I hear you, it certainly is not that simple as they are always ‘grey’ areas.  Life you say is made up smooth, slippery and rough roads, valleys, hills and precipice.  Agree I do, however, I maintain it’s either or either and the battle often times rests in your mind as you create those ‘grey’ areas in order to facilitate the choice you will undoubtedly make between black or white.

    I posit that the reasons followed by ones choice are of no importance in white collar crimes.  Of importance are the attitudes, willingness, commitment and integrity of those commissioned to protect the laws of any land.  The list of officials who have been indicted are at the very top of the food chain having enjoyed riches I can only imagine or dream of spanning twenty four (24) years.  The names and details of the indictment have been published.  By the very manner in which the investigation was carried out you see the purpose, intent, and commitment by the government Attorneys that no matter who you are, however long it takes, our job will be done and you will pay a price for those illegal acts.  The cartel will be dismantled.

    There is no fear, intimidation of the ‘city slickers’ Attorneys that will showcase their expertise for their criminal clients as the government believes they will be able to hold their own.  After all we are well aware of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.  I am sure it makes it a tad easy as guilty pleas have been pronounced for at least two (2) on the list thus far. 

    Let us look to Jamaica.  Do we have a ‘white collar’ prison?  Do we battle corruption relating to money laundering, scamming/wire fraud, political kick-backs, and bribery?  After 24 years of networking, the top of the food chain official’s asses will be hauled off to Court and like Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart and a host more, will be able to experience the loss of all privileges for the time given.  Martha Stewart, did her time, survived but make no mistake about it, I doubt she will risk being ‘stripped’ of her freedom for even seven (7) days in the future.

    Jamaica Land We Love……….will our Leaders demand ‘respect’ by doing the job they were elected to do?  Our Leaders are disrespected simply because they are branded ‘politically and morally corrupt’.  That can only change not by ones speeches rather by your ‘TRUTH’……………….‘To Thy Own Self Be True’


     

    Jack Warner among 14 FIFA officials and corporate execs indicted in major corruption case

    (Jamaica Gleaner, Wednesday 27 May 2015)

     
     
    Warner …
     
     

    Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, former president of CONCACAF is among nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives this morning named in a massive corruption indictment unsealed in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

    Warner, a politician, is also the president of the Caribbean Football Union and adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.

    Seven of those under investigation were later arrested in a police operation at a five-star hotel in Zurich.

    Here are the names of the indicted officials:

    1) Jeffrey Webb: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.

    2) Eduardo Li: Current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.

    3) Julio Rocha: Current FIFA development officer.  Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.

    4) Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the CONCACAF president.  Former CIFA general secretary.

    5) Jack Warner: Former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.

    6) Eugenio Figueredo: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member.  Former CONMEBOL president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.

    7) Rafael Esquivel: Current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.

    8) José Maria Marin: Current member of the FIFA organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments.  Former CBF president.

    9) Nicolás Leoz: Former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.

    Four of the defendants were sports marketing executives:

    10) Alejandro Burzaco: Controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
    Aaron Davidson: President of Traffic Sports USA Inc. (Traffic USA).

    11) Hugo and Mariano Jinkis: Controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.

    According to the United States Justice department, the 47-count indictment unsealed early this morning charges the 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offences, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer

    The guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants were also unsealed today.

    SEE STATEMENT FROM US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BELOW:

    The defendants charged in the indictment include high-ranking officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the organisation responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide, as well as leading officials of other soccer governing bodies that operate under the FIFA umbrella. 

    Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner – the current and former presidents of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States – are among the soccer officials charged with racketeering and bribery offences. 

    The defendants also include U.S. and South American sports marketing executives who are alleged to have systematically paid and agreed to pay well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.

    The charges were announced by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie of the Eastern District of New York, Director James B. Comey of the FBI, Assistant Director in Charge Diego W. Rodriguez of the FBI’s New York Field Office, Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez of the IRS-CI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

    Also earlier this morning, Swiss authorities in Zurich arrested seven of the defendants charged in the indictment, the defendants Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel and José Maria Marin, at the request of the United States. 

    Also this morning, a search warrant is being executed at CONCACAF headquarters in Miami, Florida.

    The guilty pleas of the four individual and two corporate defendants that were also unsealed today include the guilty pleas of Charles Blazer, the long-serving former general secretary of CONCACAF and former U.S. representative on the FIFA executive committee; José Hawilla, the owner and founder of the Traffic Group, a multinational sports marketing conglomerate headquartered in Brazil; and two of Hawilla’s companies, Traffic Sports International Inc. and Traffic Sports USA Inc., which is based in Florida.

    “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” said Attorney General Lynch.  

    “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.  And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organisations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.  Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice – and we look forward to continuing to work with other countries in this effort.”

    Enough is enough

    Attorney General Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the authorities of the government of Switzerland, as well as several other international partners, for their outstanding assistance in this investigation.

    “Today’s announcement should send a message that enough is enough,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Currie.  

    “After decades of what the indictment alleges to be brazen corruption, organised international soccer needs a new start – a new chance for its governing institutions to provide honest oversight and support of a sport that is beloved across the world, increasingly so here in the United States.  Let me be clear: this indictment is not the final chapter in our investigation.”

    Acting U.S. Attorney Currie extended his thanks to the agents, analysts and other investigative personnel with the FBI New York Eurasian Joint Organised Crime Squad and the IRS-CI Los Angeles Field Office, as well as their colleagues abroad, for their tremendous effort in this case.

    “As charged in the indictment, the defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” said Director Comey.  “Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks, and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA.  I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors around the world who have pursued this case so diligently, for so many years.”

    “When leaders in an organisation resort to cheating the very members that they are supposed to represent, they must be held accountable,” said Chief Weber.  “Corruption, tax evasion and money laundering are certainly not the cornerstones of any successful business. 

    Whether you call it soccer or football, the fans, players and sponsors around the world who love this game should not have to worry about officials corrupting their sport

    This case isn’t about soccer, it is about fairness and following the law.  IRS-CI will continue to investigate financial crimes and follow the money wherever it may lead around the world, levelling the playing field for those who obey the law.”

    The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

    The Enterprise

    FIFA is composed of 209 member associations, each representing organised soccer in a particular nation or territory, including the United States and four of its overseas territories. 

    FIFA also recognises six continental confederations that assist it in governing soccer in different regions of the world. 

    The U.S. Soccer Federation is one of 41 member associations of the confederation known as CONCACAF, which has been headquartered in the United States throughout the period charged in the indictment. 

    The South American confederation, called CONMEBOL, is also a focus of the indictment.

    As alleged in the indictment, FIFA and its six continental confederations, together with affiliated regional federations, national member associations and sports marketing companies, constitute an enterprise of legal entities associated in fact for purposes of the federal racketeering laws. 

    The principal – and entirely legitimate – purpose of the enterprise is to regulate and promote the sport of soccer worldwide.

    As alleged in the indictment, one key way the enterprise derives revenue is to commercialise the media and marketing rights associated with soccer events and tournaments. 

    The organising entity that owns those rights – as FIFA and CONCACAF do with respect to the World Cup and Gold Cup, their respective flagship tournaments – sells them to sports marketing companies, often through multi-year contracts covering multiple editions of the tournaments. 

    The sports marketing companies, in turn, sell the rights downstream to TV and radio broadcast networks, major corporate sponsors and other sub-licensees who want to broadcast the matches or promote their brands. 

    The revenue generated from these contracts is substantial: according to FIFA, 70% of its $5.7 billion in total revenues between 2011 and 2014 was attributable to the sale of TV and marketing rights to the 2014 World Cup.

    The Racketeering Conspiracy

    The indictment alleges that, between 1991 and the present, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the enterprise by engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering. 

    Two generations of soccer officials abused their positions of trust for personal gain, frequently through an alliance with unscrupulous sports marketing executives who shut out competitors and kept highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks. 

    All told, the soccer officials are charged with conspiring to solicit and receive well over US$150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments.

    Most of the schemes alleged in the indictment relate to the solicitation and receipt of bribes and kickbacks by soccer officials from sports marketing executives in connection with the commercialisation of the media and marketing rights associated with various soccer matches and tournaments, including FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the CONCACAF region, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League, the jointly organised CONMEBOL/CONCACAF Copa América Centenario, the CONMEBOL Copa América, the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil, which is organised by the Brazilian national soccer federation (CBF). 

    Other alleged schemes relate to the payment and receipt of bribes and kickbacks in connection with the sponsorship of CBF by a major U.S. sportswear company, the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 FIFA presidential election.

    The Indicted Defendants

    As set forth in the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators fall generally into three categories: soccer officials acting in a fiduciary capacity within FIFA and one or more of its constituent organisations; sports media and marketing company executives; and businessmen, bankers and other trusted intermediaries who laundered illicit payments.

    Nine of the defendants were FIFA officials by operation of the FIFA statutes, as well as officials of one or more other bodies:

    And one of the defendants was in the broadcasting business but allegedly served as an intermediary to facilitate illicit payments between sports marketing executives and soccer officials:

    José Margulies:  Controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.

    The Convicted Individuals and Corporations

    The following individuals and corporations previously pleaded guilty under seal:

    On July 15, 2013, the defendant Daryll Warner, son of defendant Jack Warner and a former FIFA development officer, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and the structuring of financial transactions.

    On Oct. 25, 2013, the defendant Daryan Warner waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and the structuring of financial transactions.  Daryan Warner forfeited over $1.1 million around the time of his plea and has agreed to pay a second forfeiture money judgment at the time of sentencing.

    On Nov. 25, 2013, the defendant Charles Blazer, the former CONCACAF general secretary and a former FIFA executive committee member, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a 10-count information charging him with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, income tax evasion and failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).  Blazer forfeited over $1.9 million at the time of his plea and has agreed to pay a second amount to be determined at the time of sentencing.

    On Dec. 12, 2014, the defendant José Hawilla, the owner and founder of the Traffic Group, the Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a four-count information charging him with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice.  Hawilla also agreed to forfeit over $151 million, $25 million of which was paid at the time of his plea.

    On May 14, 2015, the defendants Traffic Sports USA Inc. and Traffic Sports International Inc. pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.
    All money forfeited by the defendants is being held in reserve to ensure its availability to satisfy any order of restitution entered at sentencing for the benefit of any individuals or entities that qualify as victims of the defendants’ crimes under federal law.

    * * * *
    The indictment unsealed today has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Eastern District of New York.

    The indicted and convicted individual defendants face maximum terms of incarceration of 20 years for the RICO conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges. 

    In addition, Eugenio Figueredo faces a maximum term of incarceration of 10 years for a charge of naturalisation fraud and could have his U.S. citizenship revoked.  He also faces a maximum term of incarceration of five years for each tax charge. 

    Charles Blazer faces a maximum term of incarceration of 10 years for the FBAR charge and five years for the tax evasion charges; and Daryan and Daryll Warner face maximum terms of incarceration of 10 years for structuring financial transactions to evade currency reporting requirements. 

    Each individual defendant also faces mandatory restitution, forfeiture and a fine. 

    By the terms of their plea agreements, the corporate defendants face fines of $500,000 and one year of probation.

    The government’s investigation is ongoing.

    The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan M. Norris, Amanda Hector, Darren A. LaVerne, Samuel P. Nitze, Keith D. Edelman and Brian D. Morris of the Eastern District of New York, with assistance provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and Organised Crime and Gang Section.

    Please like & share: