Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2016 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 11, 2016
STORIES BY KEVON FELMINE
While two fraud accused employees of the
Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation
(CTTRC) reported to the Ministry of Local Govern-
ment s head office yesterday, local government offi-
cials could not say whether or not they were dis-
County superintendent, Maniram Mohess, and engi-
neering and survey officer, Barry Samaroo, reported
to the office of the permanent secretary.
They were ordered to the Ministry s Port-
of-Spain office after they reported to work
following Monday s appearance at the Port-
of-Spain Magistrates Court.
One of the men were said to be involved
in a meeting to reconcile construction mate-
rial worth million of dollars. That meeting
had to be stopped by a municipal police offi-
cer.Checker, Ian Gokool, who is also accused
in the matter, showed up for work as well
but was sent on leave by acting CEO Char-
One senior officer at the CTTRC would
only say that both employees "were gone."
When contacted yesterday, Dookie did not
deny or confirm whether the men were sus-
pended or fired, saying that she was a public
officer and not allowed to speak to the media.
She referred the question to CTTRC chairman Henry
Awong, who she said was apprised of workers sta-
However, Awong said while he knew Mohess and
Samaroo reported to the permanent secretary, it was
all he knew. He said he was unaware whether they
were suspended but may know today.
Mohess, Samaroo, Gokool, Corporation CEO Carol
Dyal and businessman Mahase Sookhai appeared before
magistrate Christine Charles on Monday, charged with
conspiring to defraud the CTTRC of $149,500.
The charges relate to a contract awarded for the
installation of outdoor exercise equipment at the San
Pablo Recreation Ground and Todd s Road Activity
Meanwhile, Independent Liberal Party (ILP) alder-
man, Sunil Ramjitsingh, said Opposition representatives
at the CTTRC were happy that Local Government
Minister Franklin Khan ordered forensic audits into
all regional corporations.
Ramjitsingh said they believed a detailed audit of
the CTTRC was required urgently. Since media reports
of the police arresting CTTRC employees and con-
tractors linked to the corporation last week,
he said they have received numerous phone
calls from the burgesses, public officers and
local government representatives from various
He said the callers shared some of their
experiences and observations in their own
regional corporations with respect to pro-
curement of materials and services, from construction
materials to simple services, such as catering.
They also dealt with the issuing of contracts and
accountability for materials.
"We believe these are critical areas that must be
included in the audits. Further, we believe the audit
should not just be an audit of the paper trails but that
the quality of work done on contracts should also be
examined to determine if the quality is satisfactory
and if projects have been done according to the scope
of works," Ramjitsingh said.
If Mother Nature or terrorists unleash a deadly
attack on T&T, there will not be enough room at
the Forensic Science Centre (FSC), St James, for
the dead as space is limited to storage for 14 iden-
This was according to forensic pathologist, Dr
Valery Alexandrov. He said the capacity of the two
refrigerated rooms at the centre was around 34 bodies
and that was if the trolleys were double-stacked.
The situation has led to several episodes of over-
crowding of bodies at the centre and according to
Alexandrov, there was room for only four bodies
Pathologists tat the FSC perform approx-
imately 1,200 autopsies a year and corpses
are stored until funeral homes take pos-
But of the unidentified bodies, Alexan-
drov said, some were brought to the
centre between two and six years ago.
There are bodies that no one came to
identify and skeletal remains for which
there are no DNA samples to compare.
While there may be hope that a relative
of a deceased person comes to identify
a corpse, he said refrigeration only slowed
Within a few months, some bodies
could not be identified by physical fea-
tures, he added.
However, the corpses are fingerprinted,
if possible, in case police investigators
find a match.
"Believe it or not, we got four bodies from the Eric
Williams Medical Science Complex which were stored
at their mortuary two years prior. They were kept
in the fridge for two years and then they were brought
"It was homeless people. One died in a vehicular
accident and the other from a heart attack. When
we dispose of bodies, we do autopsies and give them
"The problem is that if Trinidad has a natural dis-
aster or terrorist attack, we don t have room for these
bodies. While there is none now, the country is not
immune to such things happening and over time life
brings different challenges," Alexandrov said.
He said according to international standards, normal
mortuaries should have a refrigeration capacity that
is ten per cent of the annual autopsy rate, which
suggest space for 120 corpses.
While there is no legally established time frame
for the disposal of corpses, he said that cost was
usually borne by the State.
In some cases, he said families showed up when
a corpse arrived and never returned while some rel-
atives claimed to have no money for funeral expenses
and sign documents to have the State pay
for a "pauper s funeral."
Alexandrov, who performed autopsies dur-
ing the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World
Trade Centre in the United States, has also
worked in Germany, Italy, Russia, Afghanistan,
Iraq and the former Yugoslavian Republic.
He said the Government needed to spend money
to install a new refrigerator at the science centre and
there was a room available. He said storage in the
centre should be similar to the one at the Scarborough
General Hospital where draws were stacked up to
the ceiling and bodies were retrieved using a special
lift.He also called for the creation of bone depository
so every set of unidentified bones could be numbered
and placed in a box until burial at State expense or
if a relative came forward.
still in doubt
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