No government involvement in human trafficking, says Antigua-Barbuda PM
St John’s, Antigua — Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told the political leader of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Harold Lovell to produce evidence of the governing Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party’s alleged involvement in a human trafficking ring or keep quiet.
The country’s leader was responding to calls by the opposition for Immigration Minister Steadroy Benjamin to resign and pave the way for an investigation into the human trafficking ring that started under the previous administration of the now opposition UPP.
“Harold Lovell and other members of the UPP indicate that they have evidence to confirm that there were (practices of) wrongdoing by the minister (Steadroy Benjamin) and I challenge them to provide that information to the media,” Browne said.
“On the basis that they provide the information, then I will be in a position to act. When clearly there is no evidence to support their claim, therefore I am not in the position to take any action. And even though the minister indicated his willingness to leave the position temporarily, that might construe that there was some form of wrongdoing; and as I said before, there is no evidence to that effect,” he noted.
“Harold Lovell does not run this country; the country is run by Gaston Browne. And I have nothing at all to be ashamed about. I have a mandate by the people to run the country. Provide the evidence. And if you can’t provide the evidence, then just put up and shut up!”