PM Browne calls on private members to hand over relief funds

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By Carlena Knight

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has put a number of persons ‘on blast’ over the Caribbean Strong Concert dilemma.

While speaking on OBSERVER AM on Monday, PM Browne sought to clear the government’s name in the scandal, and further called on the private groups involved to handover the funds collected. “It was not a concert put on by the government of Antigua and Barbuda, it was some private citizens who did it, Darwin Telemaque, Cecile Hill and others who arranged it. I have said to them privately and I am now saying to them publicly that the monies they have should be paid over.

“They reckon that it is the final audited statement that they are awaiting, but in the meantime, at least pay over the funds. I want to make it abundantly clear that it is not a government entity; it’s a private group that came together to have the concert to provide relief.”

The event was held in 2017 to help raise funds for the sister isle of Barbuda and Dominica after both countries were destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

To date however, no funds have been handed over to the Barbuda Council, and many members of the public have questioned the government’s role in the matter; some have even gone further and accused the Gaston Browne-led administration of pocketing the money.

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