Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2015 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, October 8, 2015
The State is set to pay compensation to
a businessman from Valencia whose fleet
of vehicles remain impounded over two
years after he was cleared by police for allegedly operating
an illegal quarry.
State attorneys conceded liability for the delay before
Justice Ricky Rahim in the Port-of-Spain High Court on
Tuesday after one of its witnesses admitted that the vehi-
cles, valued at $6.4 million, should have been returned
to Danny Guerra, 15 days after they were seized in January
In his testimony, Sgt Francis Collins, who led the inves-
tigation into Guerra, admitted that within two weeks of
the seizure of Guerra s 12 dump trucks --- a concrete mixer,
a tractor and a ATV --- he informed then deputy police
commissioner Mervyn Richardson the vehicles should be
returned as there was no evidence they or Guerra were
involved in illegal quarrying in east Trinidad.
Despite Collins advice the vehicles were not released
forcing Guerra to file the lawsuit.
While lead attorney for the State Israel Khan, SC,
accepted the error and promised to facilitate the release
of the equipment, he attempted to mitigate the compen-
sation owed to Guerra.
Khan noted that Guerra was unable to claim for lost
of use of his property as he did not adduce any evidence
showing his business was adversely affected by the seizure.
He also dismissed Guerra s claim for additional damages
for damage to the vehicles caused by their inactivity for
a long period as he said Guerra could not prove their
condition when they were seized by police.
In response, Guerra s lawyer, Gerald Ramdeen, claimed
while his client was at fault for not providing the necessary
valuations, the court had the power to estimate his losses
due to the "arbitrary, oppressive and unconstitutional"
actions of the police in the case.
Rahim is expected to decide on the compensation due
to Guerra on December 10.
State to pay
luxuries are you
cutting off in
light of the rising
cost of living?
"I won't be
cutting out anything.
Life goes on. I will just
"I don't really have a
need for luxury items. I
am already living a
simple life, I don't
even own a
"I might cut
Carnival. Instead of
going to five fetes I
will attend two. I will
also spend less on
sometimes I buy stuff I
really don't need."
I will cut down on
recreation because it is
not essential like food. I
will pick and chose
when I go out liming. It
definitely won't be
every weekend now."
I don't need to cut
anything out because I
always budget my
money well. We just all
need to tighten our
live within our
complaining about the
high prices of food. I
think right now people
need to start focusing
on planting their own
food and stop being so
dependent on foreign
luxury food which is
compared to local stuff."
JENSEN LA VENDE
Police believe contracts that were either stopped or
were about to be stopped, thanks to the intervention of
senior Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) executive
Derek Hooker, may be the reason he was shot dead out-
side his Diego Martin home on Monday night.
According to police, around 6.30 pm Monday Hooker
had just pulled into his yard when he was approached
by a gunman.
Police said as he was walking into his home the man
shot him in the face twice and left. He was taken
to the St James Medical Centre and then trans-
ferred to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital
where he died around 9.30 pm.
Officers close to the investigation said Hooker
was opposing the awarding of contracts and may
have angered criminal elements who were ben-
efiting from them.
They said the contracts were equivalent to
"ghost gangs" within the Unemployment Relief Programme
(URP), where "workers" were paid and no work done.
Hooker, who was described by his relatives at the
Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Tuesday as a God-
fearing, helpful man who lived for the church and helping
others will be buried today.
The 54-year-old senior manager of operations (North
West), who was employed at WASA for 32 years, will be
eulogised at the Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints,
Cipriani Boulevard, Port-of-Spain, today at 10 am.
Cops: WASA manager
shot over contracts
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