A cheque for $5 million, made out to the People's National Movement, dated June 29, 2007, and signed by then CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey, as well as three other signatories, was endorsed less than a month before the November 5, 2007, election by Rose Janierre, assistant party secretary, and Linus Rogers, PNM elections officer.
Trinidad Express: Lawrence Duprey's CL Financial Group provided scarcely imaginable largesse to the ruling People's National Movement (PNM) party in the last general election at a time when it was already on the ropes-short on cash and highly leveraged.
The by-then cash-poor conglomerate bankrolled the 2007 election campaign of the Patrick Manning-led PNM party to the tune of some $20 million, according to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
And while much of CL's money went through a somewhat circuitous route to sundry suppliers of goods and services: from the printing of fliers and tee shirts to tent and maxi-taxi rentals, the bulk of it was applied to direct billings from advertising agencies for media activity, said sources.
Some of it however, was paid directly into the party's coffers. One such payment was made directly to the People's National Movement from the group's insurance subsidiary, Clico, on June 28, 2007, for the generous sum of $5 million. The $5 million cheque, drawn from a Republic Bank-held account at Independence Square in Port of Spain, was endorsed less than a month before the November 5, 2007, vote by Rose Janierre, assistant party secretary and Linus Rogers, PNM elections officer.
The $5 million Clico payout to the PNM's war chest was made at a time when the country's No1 insurance company had already been red-flagged with solvency issues, a statutory fund deficit of close to a billion dollars and what financial observers warned were dangerously excessive levels of inter-party transactions within the group.