Above: the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Turks and Caicos government’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Team has received $7.2 million in additional funding from the United Kingdom.
The funding, which was announced by UK Minister for the Overseas Territories Henry Billingham, will go towards the costs of the SIPT investigation and Civil Recovery Programme for the financial year 2011/2012.
Thus far, the SIPT cost $6.86 million in 2010/2011 and $7.62 million in 2011/2012.
Last year, the UK gave just under $10.7 million for the same purpose.
The SIPT, which began operations following a 2009 Commission of Inquiry by Sir Robin Auld in the territory, has been charged with tackling widespread corruption in the Turks and Caicos.
So far, 13 people have been charged with corruption, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
In 10 of those cases, the judge has ruled that there is a case to answer. Further hearings for the remaining three cases will take place in May.
“I stated in December 2011 that we would approach our colleagues in the UK to determine if further financial support for this investigation would be available to us here in the Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Governor Ric Todd. “I am extremely pleased, therefore, that we were able to make a successful case.”