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High office holders culpable in Galicia deal
AG detects corruption
There is evidence of corrup-
tion regarding how the Super
Fast Galicia’s six-month contract
turned into a two-year stint.
This was yesterday confirmed by
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, who
said he had perused a bundle of doc-
uments which were passed to him
by Works Minister Rohan Sinanan
upon instruction of Prime Minister
Dr Keith Rowley.
“On the face of it, yes there is cor-
ruption, including by those who were
high office holders. The transactions
are not on all fours.
“The timing, method and the par-
ticulars of the procurement held side
by side with the Cabinet knowledge
and approval are essential features
of analysis in the report which I will
produce,” Al-Rawi told the T&T
Guardian in an interview yesterday.
Al-Rawi said he had now called
for further documents regarding
the Galicia specifically relating to
Cabinet approvals, which he said
were “very material” to the vessel’s
“I received the bundles I have re-
quested already from the minister
(Sinanan) and from the port and what
is outstanding are a few documents
from the Cabinet itself and I have
requested those from the Cabinet
secretariat and I will do the investiga-
tion and make the recommendations
according to the law,” Al-Rawi said.
He said by the end of this week he is
expected to forward a “comprehen-
sive review” to Rowley, adding that
one of his specific mandates given
by the PM was to identify culprits.
“The Prime Minister’s instruction
is to identify with certainty any cul-
pability or wrong doing with respect
of this vessel and to report and rec-
ommend such action as may be re-
quired,” Al-Rawi said.
The AG’s comes after Rowley’s
claimed on a radio interview this
week that there was alleged “bobol”
in the Galicia issue under the former
People’s Partnership administration.
Sinanan, who spoke on the Galicia
issue in Parliament on Wednesday,
had alluded to the alleged involve-
ment of the law firm of ND Alfonso
in the matter during the PP’s tenure.
But Nyree Alfonso, an attorney
from the law firm, in explaining her
perceived “role” in the matter, said
it was the Port management had se-
lected the Galicia as suitable.
Yesterday, Al-Rawi said upon the
initial arrival of the vessel to T&T, it
was not used for a long time because
arrangements had not yet been made
for it to be received by any docks.
He said the Government was also
facing piling bills from the Hyatt
Regency hotel for periods when the
vessel is anchored outside the hotel,
as it causes structural damage to the
“It has been moored and loaded
next to the Hyatt Hotel and there are
multi-million dollar claims coming
from the Hyatt in respect to damages
which have occurred along that side,”
“We have also known with cer-
tainty that the vessel only runs at
half capacity because of that issue
He said one of the recommenda-
tions was dredging to receive the
vessel in a different location, but
this would cost $50 million, adding
that this must be repeated every two
“If you look to the ramifications to
use this one vessel only, you have to
spend $100 in four years just to deal
with dredging. Just the mere cost of
dredging alone, that certainly can-
not be something the taxpayers are
asking the Government to continue
to do,” the AG said.
“What was really required was a
vessel with a shallow draft which
could come up to the point of docking
at the wharf and ensure 100 per cent
usage of the vessel.”
In terms of a value for money exer-
cise, he said the vessel simply could
not be allowed to be used further.
But the AG said the Galicia’s mat-
ter was but one of several significant
matters before him which involved
white collar criminals who were ex-
pected to face the courts soon.
“We have already commenced ac-
tion on white collar crime the popu-
lation does not even know about and
we would be reporting to the nation
soon on that,” he said, adding that
Government was conscious that the
situation with respect to crime ap-
peared to be a run-away one.
Curious onlookers view the bobolee wedding procession around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, which featured the marriage of Donholl Thrump and Hillaree Cleanton.
The wedding is annually organised by residents of Clovis Trace, Maraval, as part of Good Friday observations. PHOTO: DION ROACH
PUBLIC MUST BE PATIENT
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi
yesterday called on the population
to be prepared to sacrifice in relation
to the ongoing impasse between To-
bago business owners and the Port
Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
Noting the recent congestion at
the port of Port-of-Spain, where
scores of people, including delivery
goods drivers, have been complain-
ing about not being allowed to board
despite having confirmed tickets to
go to Tobago, Al-Rawi said: “Either
the population wants the proper
thing and is prepared to take some
of the pressure that we take as well,
or it is not being honest with itself.
“If anybody understands the mar-
itime dynamics, they would know
you cannot just get a boat just so.
For Heaven’s sake, if you want to
order a car it takes six months for it
to arrive in T&T. What do you expect
it takes a vessel to arrive?” Al-Rawi
He called on citizens who use the
port to exercise patience and under-
standing as “proper process” takes
“If it takes six hours for you to
move your sand and gravel to To-
bago...okay...then that’s a matter of
logistics. It means you would have
to send your material earlier or
reorganise your arrangements,” he
“It is not that it is not going. The
allegations that the vessel is going
to take longer, yes we accept that.
But what are you telling me ... go
and spend hundreds of millions of
dollars to dredge so that your sand
and gravel can move two hours
earlier while you are awaiting the
procurement of a better vessel.
Surely any sensible person does not
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