Political parties reportedly received Olint donations

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Chairman of the People's National Party, Robert Pickersgill says the party has no record of having received a gift from former Olint boss David Smith.

Yesterday the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and former Prime Minister P J Patterson both issued statements reacting to media reports regarding benefits allegedly received from Smith, the jailed Jamaican who headed the collapsed investment scheme.

The statements followed reports of a Confiscation Order issued by the Supreme Court of the British Caribbean colony, Turks and Caicos, claiming that both the Opposition JLP and the ruling PNP, as well as Patterson and Daryl Vaz, benefited from donations from Smith.

In a brief statement, the Opposition party said that it was aware that Olint/David Smith "was one of many contributors to the JLP campaign over the period leading up to the September 2007 General Election". The JLP added that it was "examining the claim that US$5 million was donated to the party".

Former Prime Minister, PJ Patterson categorically denied allegations that he received US$1 million.

Patterson said he had referred Smith to PNP campaign director Donald Buchanan about contributing to the campaign. He said he did not know what resulted from those discussions.

Pickersgill said the party has also not received any formal communication in relation to the court document.

Smith was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the United States District Court in Orlando, Florida last August. He was accused of defrauding thousands of customers of more than US$220 million and was convicted after pleading guilty to 18 counts of money laundering, four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.