In its first public statement since it was raided on October 6th by a multi agency law enforcement team, Caribbean International Brewery says it has been unlawfully “attacked” by government agencies.
The release says the company’s funds – which it maintains were the proceeds of sales – was illegally seized. The company adds “the Police irresponsibly put people’s lives in danger by making this (amount) public. We must add that we don’t usually keep cash at the factory.”
The statement also says that the company is in a “precarious position” with “operations temporarily halted” and “faced with the difficult decision to either shut the factory down or…continue production at a contracted pace.” The company says it will either have to seek high cost financing to continue operations, lay off workers, or keep them on with pay cuts.
The statement adds, “We are being dragged through the court and it is our opinion that there are elements at work here, whose mission is to destroy our company….The actions of the Government Agencies involved can only be interpreted as an attack on a lawful business investment….We have suffered a blow to our operations and our reputation bur we assure the public that we operate legally and have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.”
Currently the Financial Intelligence Unit is asking the courts for permission to hold unto the company’s funds of 3.1 million dollars in cash for 3 months – while it investigates human trafficking and money laundering suspicions. That matter is ongoing and a decision is expected at the Magistrate’s Court next week.