Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 21st 2014 Contents A5
Friday, November 21, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Works Minister Suruj Rambachan yes-
terday said the e-mail to the Prime Minister
by his ministerial junior, Stacy Roopnarine,
had not affected his working relationship
with Roopnarine "at all."
He was asked during yesterday s weekly
Government press conference about the e-
mail Roopnarine sent to the PM about her
concerns about Rambachan in a bidding
aspect of the Curepe interchange project
being handled by Nidco.
The Prime Minister had said in Parliament
on Wednesday, thus far, allegations contained
in Roopnarine s e-mail have not been evi-
denced in any regard and it may well be the
junior minister was "not apprised of all of
The PM added there appeared to be no
interference and no award had been made
Saying the process was ongoing, she added
she had made enquiries on the issue and
concerns were raised and addressed "to my
satisfaction at this time."
Responding to queries on the Roopnarine
matter yesterday, Rambachan said:
"I respect the rights of anyone in Gov-
ernment to bring to the Prime Minister s
attention a matter of concern. The Prime
Minister has already spoken on this in Par-
liament and I don t think there s anything
more I can comment on."
Asked what discussions might have taken
place for Roopnarine to feel she had to take
the matter to the PM, her boss said:
"I wouldn t like to comment on this matter
again. I think the Prime Minister has ade-
quately addressed this in Parliament and I
will like to leave it there."
On the process in the issue, Rambachan
said when the job was tendered by Nidco,
it entailed two packages involving technical
evaluation and financial proposals.
They were examined on a 80-20 ratio
with 80 being the technical aspect and 20
the financial aspect .
He said when bids were opened the com-
pany that had the highest price was Vinci
($522 million), Coosals was $416 million and
Lutchmeesingh s was $331 million.
Rambachan said the difference in price
between the lowest and highest bidders was
He said when the 80/20 ratio formula was
applied, Vinci was rated first, Lutchmeesingh
second and Coosal third.
He said he was told the difference between
the first and second companies was one point
and one point represented a $200 million
Rambachan said the price approved by
Cabinet for the job was $309 million and
that was where the difference of $200 million
was examined between the first and sec-
On his alleged interaction with the Nidco
board, Rambachan said he met with all boards
under his jurisdiction from time-to-time to
be updated on any projects.
He listed the tenders committee, however,
adding it was the board which decided on
such projects and not the minister.
Rambachan said his concern was that proj-
ects were not tainted by corruption and that
rules, including procurement procedures,
He said he was doing all he could but
Nidco was the project manager in that.
"There hasn t been anything untoward in
this project," he added.
JENSEN LA VENDE
Having committed no crime, faced no
judge or jury, an Arima family is now in
Unlike the Maximum Security Prison,
their holding cells are not located behind
high walls and barbed wire fences but their
Forced to remain inside, their doors locked
and travelling in packs of at least three when
they do venture outside, the Charles family
at Goat Hill, Arima, yesterday said that since
their cousin Azmon Alexander was named
the main suspect in the disappearance and
murder of members of a Brasso Seco family
and their neighbour, they stay indoors.
Speaking at their home yesterday the
family, mostly female, said: "Is like we living
in jail. Up here used to be so nice, the place
not safe again because it have criminals on
"We scared, everybody just scared and
disappointed about the whole thing."
The criminals, they claim, include Alexan-
der, who has eluded capture since January
31 when he escaped from the Mayaro Mag-
istrates Court when he had appeared on
kidnapping and robbery charges.
Alexander is wanted in connection with
the abduction of a Brasso Seco family and
their neighbour and the murders of two
family members and their neighbour.
On October 26, Irma Rampersad, 49, her
daughters---Felicia, 17, and Jennelle 19---and
Jenelle s 14-month-old daughter Shania
Amorosso were snatched from their Bleu
Road, Brasso Seco, home.
A few days after they were reported miss-
ing, their neighbour, Felix Martinez, 52, also
went missing but residents thought he had
The family said after their 17-year-old
relative was arrested by police in connection
with the disappearance and murder, they
have been afraid of strange cars passing.
The family said during the day they stay
indoors and only go outside to entertain the
media, whenever they come. The family
asked that their home not be photographed.
Members of the Salaries Review Commission
(SRC) and the Chief Personnel Office (CPO) are
refusing to divulge any details of the four-hour
meeting held yesterday to discuss President
Anthony Carmona's $28,000 housing allowance.
The two groups met in a secretive, emergency
meeting yesterday from 2 pm to 6.30 pm at the
CPO s office, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.
Though all parties have been sworn to secrecy,
the T&T Guardian
learned Carmona s
and the route to
that approval led to
Insiders say the
meeting was called
to address specifi-
cally the unresolved
issues and comes
after Attorney Gen-
eral Anand Ramlo-
gan signalled his
intention to seek
legal advice from
Russel Martineau in
order to shed some
light on the
approval for the
One SRC mem-
ber, Haseena Ali,
entered the com-
pound and the bar-
ricade gates were
closed behind her.
She entered the
building through a
Chairman of the
SRC, Edward Col-
lier, was dropped off by a driver at the front of
the building and hustled inside.
All SRC members have remained tight-lipped
about the details of the meeting but the T&T
Guardian learned there was no agenda as members
were only told of the meeting late Wednesday
One of the attendees said he only knew it was
to discuss the issues surrounding the approval of
the President s housing allowance.
Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seep-
ersad-Bachan has since revealed that even when
Carmona was still President-designate, a request
came for several accommodations.
Public Administration released three townhouses
and three stand-alone houses for use by the Pres-
ident s office, it was stated.
Meanwhile, the T&T Guardian also learned that
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley is refusing to
comment on the issue any further.
It was Rowley who said the Government was
already aware of the approved payments as the
approval was ventilated at the committee stage
The T&T Guardian was informed by Balisier
House that Rowley was using his silence to "pro-
tect" the public service.
"Dr Rowley is trying to ensure the public service
is protected from the full wrath and ire of the
Government on this issue," Balisier House said.
Ramlogan has called on Rowley to give details
on when the issue of the allowance was raised in
SRC, CPO mum
on talks over
Family living in 'jail' as police hunt Azmon
The mother of the 17-year-old who
surrendered to police one day after the two
sisters were rescued said her son showed up
frightened and dirty.
The 38-year-old mother of five said her son
was not seen or heard from days before he
surfaced, muddy and tired.
The woman had two sons arrested in
connection with the abduction of the five and
murder of the three.
The older son, who is 19, a man and a woman
were released on Tuesday.
Yesterday she said she is tired. She said the
entire ordeal has left her drained and she no
longer finds joy in life.
"My sister tell me look (name called) and I
didn't believe because he was in Paria.
"He was missing for a while and we thought
something had happen to him and we prayed
he would come out safe. "He come to the back
of the house and when I look I see my son
dragging. He was crying. I was in shock," the
woman said of her last encounter with her
child. The woman said her son told her to call
the police and told the entire family not to go
outside, especially his little nieces and cousins.
After a meal of rice and stewed beef with
potatoes, the teen took a bath and was picked
up by the police. Since then he has been at the
Arima Police Station assisting officers with
The woman said she was hurt to learn what
happened to Rampersad and her family, since
she worked with both her and Gail,
Rampersad's firstborn. "This is not real. This is
like a movie. I can't come to pass with this at
all," she said, adding that everything is now in
SUSPECT'S MOTHER SPEAKS
Suruj on Stacy's e-mail to PM:
We are still close
Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Vasant Bharath, centre,
chats with Works and Infrastructure Minister Surujrattan Rambachan while Health
Minister Fuad Khan looks on during yesterday post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of
Prime Minister, St Clair. PHOTO: JEFF MYERS
SRC member Haseena Ali
arrives at the COP's office for
yesterday's meeting on St
Vincent Street, Port-of-
Spain. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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