Do you know Dr.Walid Juffalli? Do you know when St Lucia got to know him? Do you know who his first St Lucian contact was? Does he have any investments in this country? Does Mr Juffalli have any experience in Maritime affairs? Finally, what makes him eligible for the post of St Lucia's High commissioner to London? Is it "De Money" or is it a conspiracy to immune him from paying up? Questions, questions, questions which many St Lucians have no answers to.
Dr.Walid Jufalli is Saint Lucia's Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization, based in London. He was appointed in April 2014. He is a rich Saudi oil tycoon whose family business has a net worth is about USD 6.2b. He is involved in a divorce case and with his ex-wife, Estrada wants a share in his 4 four billion pounds property in London. But his diplomatic immunity shelters him from the court case. "Ou wer bagai."
"The Government of Saint Lucia has noted the concerns of individuals in response to a story carried in the Daily Telegraph, a United Kingdom-based newspaper, on Nov. 9, in relation to Saint Lucia's Representative to the International Maritime Organization, Dr. Walid Juffali." says the Government
|Victor La Corbiniere|
But let's start by taking some of what the Legal Affairs Ministry of the Government of St Lucia had to say and the counter statements made by the Daily Mail of UK.
Government of St Lucia: "To date, Dr. Juffali has conducted his duties to the highest expectations of the Government of Saint Lucia. In addition to advancing the goals of Saint Lucia in the IMO and sourcing investment for Saint Lucia..... The appointment of Dr. Juffali is consistent with the efforts of the Government to appoint trade and investment envoys to assist in the promotion of Saint Lucia and to attract investment."
UK Daily Mail: "The IMO ensures security regulations are met across the world’s shipping industry. Records reveal that of the 27 IMO meetings held in the 19 months since Mr Juffali’s appointment, he has not attended a single one."
One can safely deduce that Ernest Hilaire may have been Mr.Jufalli's first St Lucian contact. According to the Daily Mail, Ernest Hiliare met with Mr Jufalli after which the latter traveled to St Lucia. "......it is understood that Mr Juffali made his first trip to St Lucia. The visit was prompted by a meeting with St Lucia’s then High Commissioner to London, Ernest Hillaire." The Daily Mail continued. "So impressed was Mr Hillaire by Mr Juffali’s business credentials that he apparently almost immediately agreed to stand down from his role as St Lucia’s permanent representative to the IMO – and instead recommended to the island’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony that Mr Juffali take his place." Mr Hilaire has since stood down from his post as High Commissioner.
Does Mr Jufalli have any investments on island? The Government had this to say:
"Dr. Juffali has initiated his first major project for Saint Lucia - the establishment of a medical research industry. This project was announced in the Throne Speech of 2015.....
...... [and] Dr. Juffali's second project has been to investigate the establishment of a Global Diabetes Research Centre in Saint Lucia in response to the chronic levels of diabetes in the country."
"Last year’s appointment, accompanied by a string of alleged investments"......"(despite spending hardly any time on the Caribbean island)"........led to Mr Juffali’s name being added to London’s Diplomatic List." says the UK based newspaper.
The daily mail reports that. "Mr Juffali, 60, faces questions about his newly acquired ‘diplomatic immunity’, which may allow him to avoid the costly divorce case altogether. It is a move which could leave Ms Estrada without any binding financial agreement and could go down in history as one of the most elaborate ploys ever used to avoid a settlement."
The oil tycoon denies any wrong doing, but you will agree that his timing is perfect. The government rates him as a highly successful philanthropist and businessman and coins this issue as a "private matter".
What say you, A Private Matter or A Conspiracy theory?