THE more we hear news from the Lambirds Academy fiasco, the more we are convinced that there is need for a “clearing the air” statement from our government on this matter. In fact, we will go further to state that this issue is beginning to foul up the air so badly that it also demands a thorough investigation by government.
The fact that a gentleman who is being referred to as an agent for the affected students from Nepal and the Philippines has publicly accused our government of complicity in the dirty rotten scandal demands an official response. This agent has actually accused the government of “trying to cover up their tracks and their involvement”.
“They don’t want the students to be there during the hearing procedure next month”, he alleges. “They are planning to shut down this case sooner or later without any further investigation.” The implication is serious because four foreigners are currently facing money laundering charges in our courts in connection with this incident.
Readers would recall that we had earlier expressed doubt about the allegation that human trafficking, as we understand the term, was a related issue in this matter. But a recent report from Guyana that Nepalese nationals were being brought into that country for the purposes of human trafficking, compels us to ask whether there is a link between the Guyana and St Lucia incidents.
Several weeks after this whole matter first came to light there are still many unanswered questions. For instance, why is the school’s principal—one of those implicated in human trafficking—saying that the students were prevented from attending classes at the Academy by our police? How come these students travelled halfway around the world to come to St Lucia to study at an institution that they found closed on their arrival here? The fact that the students are alleging that they were victims of a scam begs the question: how could all of this happen in our country and we cannot get anyone in authority after all this time to give us the public the full picture?
The fact of the matter is that St Lucia’s name and reputation are taking a beating from all of this and we need answers. The allegation that our authorities were trying to get the students out of here so that they could not testify in the money laundering case is a very damaging claim against our country and needs to be addressed urgently.
The stench of all of this reeks even more with the news that the first six students to depart our shores are witnesses in this case. What is really going on around here? Will someone speak up?
Our government constantly brags about its commitment to transparency, accountability and good governance. Surely, it is not going to claim that any of these noble principles have been at play in the Lambirds saga.