Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 13th 2018 Contents news A3
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Fake oil reports sent
to DPP's of ice---Khan
Ener y Minister Franklin Khan
said yesterday that the reports
coming out of two independent
investigations into A&V Oil and
Gas Ltd have been referred to
the Director of Public Prosecu-
tions for advice.
Upon review, if it is found
that there is suf icient informa-
tion to warrant a police inves-
tigation, the Of ice of the DPP
will refer the report to the po-
lice to commence an investiga-
Khan made the announce-
ment in Parliament yesterday
as he responded to an urgent
question posed by Oropouche
East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal
who queried if the fake oil scan-
dal which resulted in two com-
pleted investigative reports had
been referred to the T&T Police
Khan said that two investiga-
tions into A&V were conducted
One was undertaken by Kroll
Consulting Canada Company
which focused on the meas-
urement system, while global
oil and gas consultants Gaffney
Cline and Associates deal with
reservoir and petroleum engi-
neering matters, Khan said.
An internal audit by the com-
pany for the period of January
to June showed that Petrotrin
paid more than $80 million for
oil which it did not receive from
A&V, the contractor on the Cat-
shill Field. Khan said the matter
was not referred to the police.
"However, I have been in-
formed by the board of Petro-
trin that this said matter was
referred in November of 2017
to the DPP for advice."
Moonilal asked Khan what
attempts were made to "follow
the real money siphoned out of
this scheme and returned to the
people of T&T" and "whether
or not an alleged key player in
this Mr Vidya Deokiesingh was
still employed at Petrotrin."
Khan said Petrotrin's board
nor himself had no such au-
thority to follow the money.
"We did what we felt was
proper to refer the matter to
the DPP for advice," he said.
Khan said Deokiesingh was
still an employee at the State-
owned company "because he
is under investigations at Petro-
trin...and Petrotrin has very
robust and well-written proce-
dures as to how these investi-
gations take place. And that
process is ongoing."
Petrotrin terminated its con-
tract with A&V last year and
the company has signalled its
intention to challenge the de-
$120m for new
The Government has spent
US$17.4 million (TT$120m) in ac-
quiring an Asian vessel to service
the inter-island ferry service.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert
made the announcement in Parlia-
ment yesterday as he responded
to an urgent question by Pointe-a-
Pierre MP David Lee who wanted
to ind out how much Government
had spent in acquiring a new ves-
sel for the seabridge.
Imbert said the purchase price
of the vessel "is US$17.4 million.
The vessel is brand new. It has
never been used."
The vessel, Imbert said can ac-
commodate 700 passengers and
"It is not a cargo vessel as the
question implied. It is a passenger
In his address to the nation last
Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Keith
Rowley said a new boat had been
purchased in Asia.
The vessel is expected to sail
into our port in the next two
Imbert then outlined the cost
past governments had paid in
obtaining two passenger ferry
vessels for the seabridge---the T&T
Spirit and T&T Express---which he
said were not new.
Imbert said in 2006, the then
government purchased the T&T
Express at US$20 million.
"The vessel at the time was 10
years old. And one year later in
2007, the Government purchased
the T&T Spirit vessel for the price
US$60 million. At the time the ves-
sel was three years old."
Lee further enquired when the
vessel was built, to which Imbert
replied "it is currently in its snag-
ging phase" as minor matters are
being sorted out.
"The vessel's construction has
been completed but it has not
been put into service. It has never
been used by anyone. And there-
fore, it is brand new. Age is zero."
In a supplemental question,
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal
Moonilal asked what was the pro-
curement process used by the
Government in obtaining the ves-
Imbert said the vessel has gone
through extensive sea trial in the
"That is what has happened over
the last month. The vessel was
identi ied by way of a worldwide
search using international experts
and the vessel has been procured
by the National Infrastructure De-
The vessel is expected to arrive
in T&T within two months.
No inancier in boat deal
Government sources yesterday
shut down Opposition claims that
a PNM inancier was involved in
the procurement of the new ferry
for the domestic route.
Reliable sources told the
T&T Guardian that the ves-
sel was located through an in-
ternational broker through a
Sources said the boat had been
ordered by another country which
could not meet the required pay-
ments and this allowed this coun-
try to get the vessel at the bargain
price of US$17.4m. The vessel, gov-
ernment sources said, was still at
an undisclosed shipyard.
A similar scenario took place
after this country cancelled its
contract for three Offshore Patrol
Vessels due to mechanical faults
and stalled delivery dates. The mil-
itary vessels were later acquired
by Brazil for a cheaper cost.
In that case, T&T was refunded
its deposit of TT$1.5b by British
shipbuilders BAE Systems.
No details were forthcoming
on where the vessel was located
and who were the international
experts and how much they were
paid. The vessel was sourced less
than a month after the inter-min-
isterial team headed by Finance
Minister Colm Imbert was ap-
Imbert told the Parliament yes-
terday that the vessel was "identi-
ied by a worldwide search using
international experts," and was
"procured by the National In-
frastructure Development Com-
Imbert said the vessel which was
newly constructed is now "in the
snagging phase which is the phase
at the end of the construction of
a new vessel." The purpose of a
snagging is to identify any defects
which may exist.
Former Transport Minister
Devant Maharaj said yesterday
that Government continued "to
hide the facts," over the new pas-
senger ferry which has been pur-
chased for the seabridge.
Maharaj said he found it curious
that "quali ied and experienced
maritime individuals did not get a
suitable boat for the government,
but Ministers quali ied in law,
banking and engineering managed
to get a boat."
"Why does the Government in-
sist on shrouding the procurement
process in secrecy? What is the
Rowley administration hiding? Is
the Rowley administration hiding
a PNM inancier with this deal?"
Maharaj said the government
needed to tell the country the
name of the broker and how that
person was retained.
Energy Minister Franklin Khan escorted by an MTS security guard as he makes his way to the sitting of
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