Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 22nd 2013 Contents A13
September 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
A central police sergeant and
constable are expected to appear
before a Chaguanas magistrate
tomorrow for allegedly accepting
a $1,500 bribe from a business-
man to release him after he failed
the breathalyser test.
The men were detained by offi-
cers of the T&T Police Service
Professional Standards Bureau last
week. The officers, led by ASP
Totaram Dookie and supervised
by Insp Montrichard, arrested the
sergeant on Thursday at the Hugh
Wooding Law School, where he
is currently studying law.
The constable was arrested later
The officers, both of whom are
attached to the Chaguanas Police
Station, have 16 years and 14 years’
Yesterday the director of public
prosecutions instructed Sgt Byron
Daniel to charge the two officers
with three counts of misbehaviour
in public office.
According to police reports, on
May 17 the two officers were on
duty in Chaguanas when they
stopped the businessman. A
breathalyser test was conducted
and the businessman failed.
The businessman gave the offi-
cers $1,500 to release him.
They allegedly took the money
and released him.
However, they later instructed
a junior officer to charge the busi-
nessman for drunk driving.
The businessman later reported
the incident to the Professional
United National Congress ‘caretak-
er’ for St Joseph West Constituency
Ganga Singh says that the UNC is still
looking for a suitable candidate to
contest the by-election in the vacant
constituency. Speaking to reporters
yesterday amid construction works
at the new UNC St Joseph constituen-
cy office, Singh said the people of the
area had been neglected under the
representation of former MP Herbert
With the St Joseph seat vacant, there
will now be a second by-election under
the People’s Partnership.
Singh said the people of St Joseph
will be getting more “love and affec-
tion” as the UNC begins not only cam-
paigning for the local government elec-
tion but also looking for the ideal
candidate for the upcoming by-elec-
“There is need for a significant
amount of love and affection to embrace
the people back into the fold, and that
is what we will be doing,” he said.
Singh said that “love and affection”
would include both community-based
infrastructural requirements, as well as
individualistic issues such as jobs and
‘Looking for a
“We are facing a local election in
exactly a month,” he said.
“As we move we will also be looking
for an appropriate candidate...” he said.
Since being appointed caretaker,
Singh has met with activists and res-
idents to get a feel for the voter sen-
timent in the area. He said he was aware
that the people of St Joseph were
unhappy with previous representation.
“It is a compression of time and you
are now required to go into the various
parts of the constituency in order to
be able to engage in political activity
to bring the people back home,” he
He said the general sentiment was
one of “neglect and virtual abandon-
ment” by the former UNC MP, which
he was taking with a pinch of salt.
“I am experienced enough to know
that you do not believe everything that
you hear, and that with every new per-
son coming in you have the capacity
to tell the story that is not the truth.”
He said he was compiling all the
work that has been done in the area to
measure whether the area was really
neglected under Volney.
With regards to the party’s failure to
find middle ground in the seat allocation
for local government elections, Singh
sought to remind both partners that
elections was just one month away.
“There needs to be a conclusion to
that. There must be, because politics
requires certainty, because with a month
to go there must be certainty as to
where you fighting and who is fighting
under what banner. There must be cer-
tainty in that area,” Singh said.
Questions about the double pur-
chase of a painting have been raised
by senior officials at the National
A source said the museum “pur-
chased a painting that was already
in its collection” last August.
Coincidentally, two Michel Jean
Cazabon paintings worth $250,000
each were stolen from the museum
around the same time.
The incident was kept quiet by
officials, but it was talked about in
art circles and the T&T Guardian
reported it in June this year.
An art dealer attempted to sell the
paintings back to the museum. They
have since been returned to the
national art collection.
It was also reported that an
unqualified official had agreed to
pay inflated prices for works by an
amateur artist who held an official
post connected with the museum.
The alarm was raised over these
events by former acting curator
Nimah Muwakil-Zakuri on her
return from three months’ leave in
In February the incidents were
investigated and a report was sub-
mitted to the permanent secretary
in the Ministry of National Diversity
Yesterday Muwakil-Zakuri refused
A message left on Bailey-Sobers’
cellphone yesterday was not
returned, while there was a constant
beeping tone on Lewis’ cellphone.
Ministry of Arts and Multicultur-
alism permanent secretary Desdra
Bascombe and deputy permanent
secretary Vel Lewis were suspended
with immediate effect last week fol-
lowing allegations of financial impro-
priety. The two public officials,
according to a report in a daily news-
paper yesterday, were suspended on
Wednesday by the Public Service
Commission, pending the outcome
of an investigation surrounding
invoices amounting to nearly $2 mil-
lion submitted for payment for sev-
The report said investigations are
also to be done into an alleged con-
flict of interest relating to an art
dealer and an artist who supplied
some of the paintings.
Medulla Gallery owner Geoffrey
MacLean said there “is a perception
that the purchase of art for the
museum and art gallery has been
and is strictly controlled by museum
staff. There is no selection commit-
tee. “The selection committee
should include those independent
of any personal, commercial or artis-
tically biased representation.
“Transparent acquisition policies
are also essential.
“Accurate and detailed inventories,
including photographs and descrip-
tions of all works should be part of
the recording process, something
that is particularly lacking.”
Mark Pereira, owner of the 101
Gallery, queried who was the art
“Certainly none of the art dealers
that I know about would be caught
up in that nonsense. What I read
does not sound realistic to me.”
Pereira said he has not sold any
of his paintings to the State for sev-
eral years. “What is reported sounds
like bobol...but none of which I trust.
“I don’t trust what I am reading.”
Singh to give
St Joseph ‘more
love and affection’
Two cops in court
tomorrow for bribery
double purchase of a
painting at museum
Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh puts debris in garbage bags during the ministry’s
and its agencies and divisions coastal clean-up at Chagville Beach, Chaguaramas, yesterday, as part of the
International Coastal Clean-up. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
CLEARING THE COAST
There is need for a significant
amount of love and affection to
embrace the people back into
the fold, and that is what we
will be doing.”
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