Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 18th 2017 Contents news A5
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Former minister on Galicia impasse:
Why release vessel
on corruption claim
after 20 months
Former transport minister,
Stephen Cadiz, under whose
watch the Super Fast Galicia
cargo vessel was contracted to
operate between Trinidad and
Tobago, wants to know why
after 20 months in office the
Government is now releasing
the vessel on allegations of cor-
ruption without putting a proper
alternative in place.
"Why are they doing this to To-
bago?" he asked.
Cadiz said with the exception of
the Government, none of the stake-
holders, including the Tobago Cham-
ber of and truckers, had a problem
with the Galicia.
"The Galicia was 100 per cent on
time while in T&T and it's depar-
ture record was 99.9 per cent with
He said investigating corruption
has nothing to do with getting a
proper vessel to replace the Galicia.
Cadiz said under his watch the
Galicia was contracted in 2014 pre-
cisely because the Warrior Spirit was
functioning on only one engine.
"When it came to our attention
in December 2014 the Warrior was
operating on one engine and we
could not get the agents to respond
in a comfortable manner, we felt we
could no longer continue with that
contract. The Warrior's contract was
supposed to end in August 2016."
Cadiz said the Galicia arrived for
that sole reason. "Can you imagine
the mess we would have been in if
the Warrior with its one engine,
loaded with passengers and cargo,
shut down? The safety and secu-
rity issues we would have had?"
Cadiz said by January 2014, they
started to look for a new vessel and
by May that year the Galicia sailed
He said the Government, if it
wanted to, could have taken the deci-
sion to release the Galicia in a similar
manner without any interruption in
the cargo service to Tobago. "They
had 20 months to do it.
"But in 2017, you are now looking
to lay blame on a government that
demitted office in 2015."
Cadiz declined to comment on al-
legations of corruption in the pro-
curement of the Galicia, only saying
he is waiting on the Attorney General
to complete his criminal investiga-
tion. "If there's corruption, find it,
deal with it and lock people up."
The former minister expressed
concern for citizens of Tobago who
depends heavily on goods coming
"The real issue is what is going to
happen when there is no cargo ser-
vice to Tobago?"
He charged the whole issue of cor-
ruption into the Galicia being touted
by the Government is a major dis-
traction and threw back allegations
at the Government.
"To just allow the Galicia to sail
out of the Bocas without putting
something in place smacks of mis-
management, irresponsibility and
just, basically, chaos."
Cadiz questioned the tendering
process of a replacement for the
Galicia. "I heard the port chairman
saying they are receiving offers daily.
"What is the tendering process
for the new vessel? Where are these
offers coming from? Who's vetting
Concerning claims by the Hyatt
Regency, located on the waterfront,
it was experiencing "earthquakes"
because of the movement of the
Galicia, Cadiz said, if anything, that
point to questions about the struc-
tural soundness of the hotel.
"Maybe somebody needs to do
a proper structural survey of the
Hyatt," he suggested.
Bridgette Murray takes part in the Easter Bonnet competition on
Monday at the Mt Pleasant Recreation Ground, Tobago.
PHOTOS: SHASTRI BOODAN
Kiyah Beckles takes part in the Easter Bonnet competition on Monday
at the Mt Pleasant Recreation Ground, Tobago.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has
said there is evidence of corruption
regarding how the Super Fast Gali-
cia's six-month contract turned into
a two-year stint.
He said documents relating to the
procurement of the Galicia 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
corruption, including by those
who were high office holders. The
transactions are not on all fours.
"The timing, method and the partic-
ulars 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 promised.
AG: EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION
Super Fast Galicia
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