Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 17th 2015 Contents 6.0000
for 16 NOVEMBER, 2015
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Extremely heavy security arrangements
are in place for tonight s T&T versus USA
Concacaf World Cup qualifier at the Hasely
Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, one of
several signs T&T is heeding global warnings
following last week s Paris attacks by the
Islamic State (Isis).
Among measures at today s match: 300
law enforcement officers patrolling the area,
a ban on open flame vending, one-way
entrance to the stadium and the Police Service s
Eye-In The Sky overhead patrol.
In detailing the security arrangements for
today, the National Security Ministry said the
Office of Disaster Preparedness Management
(ODPM) has alerted all key stakeholders "to
be on alert for any contingency measures."
The North West Regional Authority has
also been alerted to be on standby "to treat
with any mass casualty situations."
There will also be a police mobile booth
"at which anyone can make a report or
share any information with the police that
they think necessary."
Security measures have been increased fol-
lowing last week s Paris terrorist attacks. One
of the seven attacks was outside the Stade de
France, where a friendly between France and
Germany was being played with French Pres-
ident in attendance.
Three suicide bombers blew themselves up
outside the stadium after failing to gain
After France retaliated with airstrikes on
Isis, an Isis video was released yesterday,
warning of a strike on the US capital.
Arrangements for today s match were made
at a joint Inter-Agency Security meeting at
the National Operations Centre (NOC) yes-
terday. Involved were the T&T Police Service,
including the Traffic Branch, Transit Police,
and Task Force; Strategic Services Agency;
Defence Force; City Police; ODPM; Fire Service;
T&T Football Association and the Sports
Company of Trinidad and Tobago.
Patrons are urged to arrive at today s match
early to avoid a late rush close to the 7.30 pm
Police investigators have spent the last
three days examining the secret contract
millhouse at the Maraval offices of Education
Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) and trying
to secure documents in connection with the
alleged activity that occurred there in recent
The T&T Guardian understands that officers
were called in by the current board, as part
of the ongoing criminal probe into the EFCL s
operations under its former board.
After their visits the officers reportedly
carted away several hard drives from computer
systems at the offices and other documents.
The T&T Guardian reported last Friday
that the private room was discovered when
the new board, led by chairman Arnold Pig-
gott, toured the Maraval offices last week. A
small group of EFCL employees were found
to be doctoring documents and back-dating
The employees were sent home pending
an investigation and their clearance to the
company s IT infrastructure was suspended.
This also prompted a parallel financial audit
into the State-run special purpose company.
Insiders attached to the previous EFCL
management revealed that some contractors
paid as much as $60,000 for the a
favourable outcome to tendering processes.
This meant that only a select group of con-
tractors won tenders to build schools under
the remit of EFCL.
Once the contract was "won," the T&T
Guardian was told, then another percentage
of the overall cost of the contract was paid
to continue to buy further favours from the
When the new board took over last week,
its first move was to suspend the chief exec-
utive officer, Kiran Shah and the chief oper-
ations officer, Sharma Maharaj
Yesterday, Piggott and his team met with
Education Minister Anthony Garcia officially
for the first time since they took their respec-
In describing the EFCL under its previous
leadership, Garcia said "unfortunately some-
thing had fallen down and had fallen down
badly." He admitted that several contractors
were owed a "large sum of money" from the
last fiscal year but was unable to quantify the
"Those debts have to be repaid in this new
year and the board would be dealing with
that," he said.
But the current investigation, Garcia said,
would now mean that all invoices and existing
debts would have to be verified before any
payments could be made.
"Yes, we are in the process of conducting
an audit into the operations at the EFCL and
we have to verify the sums of money, this is
why at this point I could not have given you
an exact figure," Garcia said.
"The money owed can be looked at in two
aspects. One: Money owed for work that has
been done and money owed as a result of
penalties. As soon as we are in a position to
verify these we will have no difficulty in giving
Garcia was also unable to list the contractors
owed money by the EFCL, adding that once
the audit is completed there would be more
"Only after the audit is done can we identify
if a contractor has been in breach but at this
point it is difficult to cast any aspersions or
to pinpoint anyone or any group of contrac-
tors," he said.
He said he had no specific timeline as to
when that audit would be completed.
The T&T Guardian last week received an
internally circulated memo which stated that
international accounting firm Pricewater-
houseCoopers was in charge of the audit.
Garcia also said too many of the schools
under EFCL were allowed to fall into disrepair.
He listed 13 schools under EFCL which to
date remain closed for different reasons.
• Gates open at 4 p.m.
• No patron parking allowed at the
• No coolers at the venue
• Patrons must have a
ticket/accreditation to enter the venue.
Tickets will be sold at the venue from 10
am today only if available.
• All patrons must enter the facility
through the St John's Gate entrance
The following traffic restrictions will be
in effect between 5 am to 12 midnight
on Tuesday, November 17 2015 (match
day): no parking on Fitzblackman Drive;
Hamilton Holder Street; O'Connor
Street; Ariapita Avenue (between
O'Connor Street and Maraval Parkway);
Maraval Parkway; Foreshore
• Police Officers will be patrolling these
• Illegally parked vehicles will be
• Patrons should keep all aisles/landings
on all stands clear at all times to ensure
movement between various points, in
the event of any emergency.
• No open flames vending will be allowed in the
• All exit routes must be kept unobstructed
• TTPS Canine Unit will be deployed
• Scanners will be deployed at various locations.
• Added mobile patrols will be deployed to ensure
safety for post-match gatherings and personnel
awaiting transportation at various taxi stands
• NOC assets will be deployed to assist law
Extra security for World Cup match PROTOCOL ALERT
Cops probing EFCL millhouse
Things looked relatively calm outside the building which houses the Education Facilities
Company Ltd (EFCL) at Long Circular Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Inside, however, police had
earlier returned to secure documents in relation to an ongoing case. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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