Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 1st 2018 Contents A4 news
Thursday, February 1, 2018
RADHICA DE SILVA
Hope for finding missing
diver Chevonne Barthole-
mew alive grew dimmer
Bartholemew went miss-
ing on Monday in a routine
dive off Gasparee Island and
his wife, Pete-Ann, is now
pleading for the search to
widen to as far as Grenada
She said even
though her husband’s oxygen tank
would have run out of air by now,
she said he could be drifting some-
where in the ocean, possibly out-
side of territorial waters.
She does not believe there is any
foul play in his disappearance.
However, her children Zion, 11 and
Zoe, six, are terrified that they may not
see their father again.
Pete-Ann said yesterday had to console
the children before she put them to bed.
However, her faith remained unwavering.
She said a group of divers including those
who were with Bartholemew during the dive
off Gasparee Island, visited her on Tuesday
night. One of the divers told her that Bart-
holemew was taking photographs of a vessel
anchored in the Gulf of Paria at a depth of
about 65 feet on Monday when he disap-
The diver said he saw Bartholemew’s
headlight when he glanced behind him but
when he looked for Bartholemew a while
later, he was gone.
The diver said he did not go back for Bart-
holemew as he believed Bartholemew went
to another part of the ship.
He said he was following protocol, adding
that the job had been outlined in detail be-
fore they took the dive.
Pete-Ann said she was thankful that so
many people were still searching for her hus-
band, including fishermen and other divers
who gave up jobs to help search.
“Right now we have six vessels out there.
I am hearing that he may have drifted out to
Venezuela so I am trying to contact the Ven-
ezuelan Embassy and the Grenadian
Embassy. I am attaching information
on my husband and the newspaper
article link,” Pete-Ann said.
She said a missing person’s report
was lodged at the Carenage Police
Trinidive Underwater Services, the
company with which Bartholemew is
employed, has not answered questions relat-
ing to Bartholemew’s disappearance.
Public Relations Officer at the T&T Coast
Guard Lt Sherron Manswell said yesterday
that the search for Bartholemew was still
ongoing. Asked whether it had expanded
outside of territorial waters, Manswell said
no. He could not say whether the Venezue-
lan Embassy and the Guardia Nacional were
contacted to assist in the search.
to repay $1.5m
in payroll scam
Two soldiers, accused of defrauding the
Defence Force of $1.5m in an alleged
payroll scam, have agreed to repay the
Lance corporal Jason Richards and pri-
vate Josimar Belgrave gave the undertak-
ing as the State’s civil lawsuit against them
came up for hearing before Justice Ricky
Rahim in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday.
Under the consent order, which details the agree-
ment, the soldiers agreed to repay $1,480,000 and
surrender their two vehicles—a 2008 Nissan Tiana and
a 2013 Nissan Versa—to the Defence Force. They are
also required to solicit sales of the vehicles.
The order also states that the duo admitted to receiv-
ing the money in their accounts and that they spent all
that they had received.
The agreement does not affect an ongoing crimi-
nal case in which they are facing a total of 162 fraud
Richards, a payroll clerk with the Defence Force, is
facing the majority of the charges as he was accused of
stealing the money by inflating his and Belgrave’s rent
allowance between February and July, last year.
He was also charged with wilfully falsifying the
TTDF’s human resource records in a bid to cover up
the crimes and was charged for each time he disposed
of the money by transfers from his account to those
of his relatives and through ATM and over-the-counter
Belgrave, a striker with the TTDF’s T&T Pro League
team, was charged with disposing of the money
through various transfers and withdrawals.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges during their
first court appearance in October, last year.
The soldiers were first detained on July 27, last year
after the money was discovered missing. They had in-
itially challenged the conditions of their detention but
were released from Regiment custody before the case
The Defence Force conducted an internal investiga-
tion and successfully obtained an order freezing the
Cops wrap up probe
against errant officer
Investigators probing the alleged theft and attempted
sale of police gear by a junior officer are hoping to
wrap up their inquiries today.
The 22-year-old police constable found in possession
of two police-issued bullet-proof vests remained in the
custody of the Professional Standards Bureau while
his 21-year-old relative and 54-year-old neighbour re-
mained locked up at the Princes Town Police Station.
On Monday, the three suspects were held
during an anti-crime operation by the South-
ern Division Task Force, CID and Canine Unit
in Barrackpore and Moruga. Based on intelli-
gence gathering, the officers went to Rochard
Douglas Road in Barrackpore where they inter-
cepted a black pick up truck.
The police officer, who is attached to the
Couva Police Station, ran out of the pick-up and
into some bushes. The police team gave chase and he
was eventually caught red-handed with a bag contain-
ing the vests. The other two occupants were ordered
out of the vehicle and they were all taken to the Princes
Town Police Station. A search warrant was obtained to
search the errant officer’s home along the Penal Rock
Road, Moruga. Investigators found three police issued
firearm holsters marked Couva Police Station. The
officer, who has just over one year service, was then
handed over the Professional Standards Bureau.
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