Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, has called for the suspension of Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz until an investigation into Vaz’s involvement in the sale in a multi-million dollar property in St. Ann, is complete.

Last week, the Integrity Commission tabled in Parliament a report on the sale of Rooms on the Beach in Ocho Rios, St. Ann,  to Puerto Caribe Properties Limited and the sale of beach land by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to the same company.

Dr. Phillips lamented that there were three fundamental issues that arose as a result of the report. The first was the value and the price at which the assets were sold. The second issue was based on the procedures followed in the sale of the properties and whether they were in keeping with the established governance policies and procedures of the Government of Jamaica.

The third issue Dr. Phillips noted, was how the situation was to be remedied. The properties were sold for US $7.2 million but had been valued at USD $13.5 Million at its highest and USD $11.8 Million at the lowest. He said that as such,  the government gave away a total of JMD $1 billion or 47% of the value of the properties that were owned by the Jamaican people.

Dr. Phillips called for an independent auditor to do an investigation into the deal, who should be selected by stakeholder groups such as the private sector, the NIA, parliament and international financial partners.

 Dr. Phillips said Daryl Vaz should be sent on leave until the investigation is done and a legislative review conducted.