The issuance of special liquor permits to the MV Ocean Pelican is now at the center of an investigation, as Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said he does not approve of any such documents.
A finance ministry press release said on Friday that no license had been issued to the ship or businessman Adrian Scoon.
Scoon was among more than 100 people temporarily held by police on Boxing Day when an event took place aboard the boat.
Scoon’s attorney, Kiel Taklalsingh, wrote to Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob earlier this week to question the legality of the police intervention.
In Friday’s statement, Imbert denied claims that he had approved special liquor permits at the MV Ocean Pelican or the Scoon, so that the permits issued earlier last month were invalid.
The statement said that given the restriction on the use of party boats, no approval was given for the permits, citing section 45 (1) (c) of the Liquor License Act.
Imbert also noted that the original licenses, for which Scoon had applied in November, had been issued without his approval, describing the move as “irregular and unauthorized.”
“However, for reasons still unresolved, despite clear written instructions to the contrary on December 3, 2021, the Customs and Excise Division issued said licenses, without the approval of the Minister.
“These licenses have since been deemed null and void by the Customs and Excise Division, as no instructions for their issuance have been given by the Minister of Finance.”
A letter to Scoon dated December 30 from the Department’s Customs and Excise Division circulated with the press release telling him that his special license and special restaurant license had been revoked.
The letter asked Scoon to surrender the licenses immediately.
The publication also included a December 3 note from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to the Controller of Customs and Excise stating that approval had been delayed because Imbert had asked if licenses could be granted under the covid19 health regulation.