FBI probing former FIFA vice president Jack Warner




By IANS,

Port of Spain (Trinidad) : Trinidad and Tobago's national security minister Jack Warner is being investigated by the US' Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The FBI probe is based on money-laundering allegations against Warner, a former FIFA vice president, reports CMC.

The charge against Warner stems from his relationship with Chuck Blazer, former general secretary of CONCACAF, the football federation for North and Central America and the Caribbean.

"As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not comment on law enforcement matters." the United States Embassy in Port of Spain said in a statement Tuesday.

The embassy was responding to questions on whether FBI officials will be in Trinidad and Tobago to gather evidence.

Blazer was the whistle-blower into the bribes-for-votes allegations made against Warner and Qatar football official Mohammed bin Hammam at a last year's Caribbean Football Union (CFU) meeting here.

Blazer's allegations, leading up to FIFA's presidential election last year, resulted in Warner's resignation as vice president of FIFA, president of CONCACAF and president of the Caribbean Football Union.

Last year, Blazer was also the subject of an FBI enquiry for allegedly hiding a multimillion dollar offshore account.

At the time, the FBI was examining evidence that payments may have come from the CFU during the time of Warner's presidency.

In September, newly-appointed CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said the finances of CONCACAF under Warner's tenure, were still being probed by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams has been quoted as saying he had not been informed of any investigation.

However, the Financial Intelligence Bureau (FIB) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is reportedly investigating the matter.

But, speaking at a public forum of the ruling United National Congress (UNC) Monday night, Warner denied he was the subject of any investigation.

Warner said there is a clear agenda among some sections of the media to destabilise the People's Partnership Government and threatened a lawsuit against the daily Express newspaper that first reported the investigation.

"FBI probes Jack Warner is the headline today. Million dollar probe on Jack Warner. The intention is to get Jack. In their blighted thinking if Jack Warner goes, all falls down.

"But this government will not fall! Look at all the negative articles in that same newspaper. Jack today, Anand tomorrow and Kamla every day," Warner said, noting that he had already charged instructed his lawyers to send pre-action protocol letters to the media house.

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