February 14, 2014
Deputy Consul General probe may lead to Trinidad

Investigations are said to be continuing to determine what connection, if any, this country’s former deputy consul general at the Consulate General in New York, had with a “green card” ring, which is believed to have scammed several persons out of tens of thousands of dollars.{{more}}

It is believed that the ring is being run by a Trinidadian female and promises to secure for illegal immigrants, permanent residence status in the United States, a source close to the investigations told SEARCHLIGHT.

Edson Augustus, who up to February 6, 2014, was deputy consul general at the Consulate General of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in New York, was recalled after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received reports alleging that while posted in New York, Augustus was “involved in activities outside the scope of his employment and inimical to the interests of the Consulate General and the Government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“Having subsequently received sufficient confirmation of those reports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines acted promptly in recalling Mr Agustus with immediate effect,” a release from the Ministry, dated February 10, 2014, said.

Investigators are said to be collecting sworn statements from people who claim to have made cash payments of between US$5,000 and US$7,500 to secure “green cards”. These persons, however, told investigators that they were not issued receipts. In addition to the thousands they allegedly paid for the “green cards”, the victims also claim that they were sent to do medicals costing US$110 per person, at a facility on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

According to our source, the Consulate General of SVG in New York received certain information about the alleged scam at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Augustus was recalled to SVG by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Despite being recalled, up to press time yesterday, Augustus had not returned to SVG. It is believed he is still in the US.

Augustus, a former Richland Park resident, was first appointed deputy consul general in June 2011, after he resigned on February 10, 2011 as a pastor of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Region of Seventh Day Adventists, which falls under the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.

Augustus is married and has two daughters.