Leader of the Opposition Dr. Gale Rigobert is calling on government to provide some clarity with regards to the ongoing alleged human trafficking scam involving several foreigners.
Dr. Rigobert told the media today that she has met with the students and was able to interact with them on an individual basis.
She has come to understand that the students had paid in excess of US$16,000 to pursue studies with Lambirds Academy.
“We remain in the dark, still unaware of the many layers of interaction and the many questions that continue to loom…How really did we come to this point?” she questioned.
She said the government has showed “blatant disregard for its people, by failing to be transparent and answer the many questions the public has been asking.”
“Were the students indeed qualified to undertake the courses they were intending to pursue here and did Lambirds Academy met the requisite requirements by way of accreditation?” she questioned.
Most importantly, Dr. Rigobert said government must now explain to the nation, how the students “got them in this predicament”, especially since both the Ministry of Education and External Affairs were involved.
“Clearly somewhere along the line or some agency, did not do the requisite checks or were fooled into thinking that what they were the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” she added.
Dr. Rigobert has already expressed her disappointment with government’s move to have the students repatriated.
The opposition leader’s response comes almost one month after the Lambirds scandal was made public.
Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis has said that he will no longer comment on the issue and claims that the media has blown the matter out of proportion, causing several damages.
The students have threatened to commit suicide if they are forced to return home without their money.
The group of foreigners – from Nepal and The Phillipines – claimed that they paid at least US$16,000 each to an agent from their region to secure a place at Lambirds Academy in Gros Islet, St. Lucia.
At the Academy, the prospective students were to be trained in hospitality management and promised employment in the United States of America after completing the one-year programme.
Four men have been arrested and charged with human trafficking in connection with the alleged scam.