Former General Secretary of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) Paul Burke, says he stands to gain USD$1-million if he brokers a deal between Venezuela and a consortium, for the sale of that country’s stake in Petrojam.
The consortium is offering to buy Venezuela’s 49% stake in Petrojam for USD$55-million, or about JMD$7-billion. Mr Burke made the revelation in a letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness over the weekend. The letter is copied to Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, PNP Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell and the party’s current General Secretary, Julian Robinson.
Mr Burke wrote the letter in his capacity as Chief Executive Officer at Cheriton Trading and Investments. The company made an offer to purchase Venezuela’s 49-per cent stake in Petrojam, last November.
In his letter, Mr Burke says he was not allowed to disclose the names and members of the consortium of investors. He says they first expressed interest in acquiring shares held by PDVSA from the first quarter of last year. He says they felt the government was interested in divesting its shares in Petrojam to a Chinese state-owned company and they wanted Jamaicans to own a major stake in the entity. He says if the Jamaican government is not interested in purchasing these shares, the consortium, will demonstrate proof and source of funds, at an appropriate time.
Mr Burke says the Jamaican people will then be able to judge if the GOJ is sincere. He notes Police investigators will not be able to detect any intelligence relating to the issue, because the matter has never been discussed on any of his phones.
According to Mr Burke, the final offer and revised offer was made on November 21, last year. He says this was sent to an attorney in Venezuela and dispatched to the Venezuelan Embassy on the 26th.
The Former PNP General Secretary says the group later learned that PDVSA was interested in pursuing another offer, higher than theirs. He says he’s received no up-front payments, incentives or allowances. But Mr Burke revealed that he stands to be paid US equivalent of JMD$130-million if he can successfully broker the deal. He says he’s agreed to pay the attorney acting on his behalf in Venezuela a success fee of US equivalent of JMD$52-million.
Mr Burke told Mr Holness that he was writing ahead of the Prime Minister’s expected presentation in Parliament this week, because he wanted to debunk what he calls misguided speculations about his role in the Petrojam stake issue.