February 18, 2014
Augustus returns, hands over diplomatic passport

Just over a week after his recall, former Deputy Consul General at the SVG Consulate General in New York Edson Augustus returned to the country yesterday, and reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.{{more}}

Searchlight understands the recalled deputy consul general met with Permanent Secretary Nathaniel Williams and handed over his diplomatic passport. It is understood that Augustus again left the country, following the meeting.

Government announced Augustus’ recall last Monday, stating that he was involved in activities outside the scope of his employment. Foreign Minister Camillo Gonsalves later explained that Augustus was holding himself out as being able to, in some way, facilitate or expedite the acquisition of green cards for out of status Vincentians in New York, and that he was requesting a fee for this service.

Gonsalves had disclosed over the weekend that Augustus had been in touch with the Permanent Secretary on Friday, “on matters related to his recall, and on matters related to his travel plans”. That update was in response to public queries about whether Augustus was returning home and why had he not returned after more than a week.

“I take him at his word that he is on his way home,’ Gonsalves said Sunday.

The Foreign Minister, in dismissing critics for talking while being uninformed, noted that the US authorities often gave departing diplomats a week or two to finalize their arrangements, and while he did not know if Augustus’ delayed return was due to logistical considerations, it was reasonable to expect he would need time to pack and ship his stuff, and make travel arrangements, since he was returning home from a job he did not anticipate leaving at this time.