BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – SPEAKING at the Prime Minister’s Monthly Press Conference on Tuesday (Jul. 20), Minister of Tourism Hon. Lindsay Grant said that eight to 10 persons would have to pay for the 75 stolen Music Festival tickets.
Grant, who has Responsibility for Music Festival, was at that time asked to provide an update on the stolen tickets.
On Monday (Jun. 24), the Music Festival Committee reported that its members and the police were investigating the theft of 75 tickets for the concerts.
The missing batch was said to be general admission tickets and they were illegally taken during the course of the previous week.
The Committee had warned that any person who would have turned up at the event with a ticket from the stolen batch would be arrested, as its members were aware of the serial numbers.
In response for the update, Minister Grant said, “First of all, I want to say that this Government is about good governance and transparency, and, in fact, we could have said nothing about the 75 tickets, because of 25,000 people, 75 is miniscule. But immediately upon recognising that we had an infraction, we came out to the general public in a press release indicating that we had 75 tickets that we believed were stolen and that we would have proceeded right away with an investigation.”
Grant claimed that when the situation was brought to his attention, he had summoned those responsible for the tickets to a meeting in his office and indicated what he understood to be the position.
“The tickets were being managed by a number of persons to the tune of about eight to 10 persons. Those are the persons that I had discussions with.
“I indicated to them that if the tickets weren’t in the office by whatever means before the end of the St. Kitts Music Festival, those who had touched or had management of the tickets, they are accountable for them. Meaning, 75 tickets at $10,125, they will have to account for that individually and collectively. And, unfortunately, the innocent will have to pay for the guilty. And that’s where we are at.”
He declared that none of the stolen tickets had shown up at the Festival but “the money must show up in the Government’s coffers at the end of the day. I can’t see any other way; they will have to pay for them”.
The Minister categorically stated that he is not accusing any specific individual, but all those who were responsible for the tickets.
“I am not pointing my finger at any one individual, but when you are in a position of trust and confidence, that must be displayed. So, they will have to come up with the $10,125 between them and I made that pellucidly clear [sic].”