Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, November 8, 2013
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DTL Property Developers
Company Limited has broken its
silence on the controversial La
Forteresse housing project, deny-
ing the Public Service Association
(PSA) stands to lose $15 million
from the sale of the luxurious res-
The T&T Guardian has been
running an exclusive series on the
project, which started in 2006
under the former PSA president
Jennifer Baptiste-Primus. The proj-
ect, which is yet to be completed,
was expected to yield a $40 million
payout to the PSA.
However, PSA president Watson
Duke said last month he was will-
ing to "cut his losses" and accept
$25 million from DTL instead of
$40 million. He also said that rising
building costs had affected the
Repeated attempts were made
by the T&T Guardian prior to the
publication of the previous articles
to get DTL to explain construction
delays and why some of the apart-
ments were being sold twice.
However, general manager
Lucien Delpesh refused to answer
questions, saying: "As a private
organisation DTL Property Devel-
opers Company Limited has no
comment to advance on any of the
queries you have raised."
However, in a paid press release
yesterday, DTL said it was inac-
curate to say that the PSA would
lose $15 million from the sale of
"The alleged loss indicated
relates purely to projected benefits
which were revised downwards,"
the company said.
DTL said the project did not
require PSA to engage in any
expenditure. It added: "The project
has not bought financial distress
to the client for the simple reason
that the client has not made any
cash injection into the project and
neither were they required to do
so, thus no contingent liability is
"Where legal matters arise, it is
the responsibility of the developer
to treat with the same as the client
is insulated from such risk."
The company also said if the
PSA was experiencing financial
problems it could not be because
of its interest in the project.
With regard to the sale of the
apartments, DTL said the practice
of investors purchasing housing
developments prior to construction
and selling during construction
The company said it had faced
similar challenges as other devel-
opers in Port-of-Spain after the
global financial collapse of 2008.
Meanwhile, contacted on his
cellphone yesterday, Duke said he
could not respond to the devel-
opers claims because he had not
seen the advertisement.
He said his decision to accept
$25 million from the developer prior
to completion was based on several
factors so it was not accurate to
say the PSA would lose $15 million.
He said he would comment further
when he saw the DTL statement.
All police and immigration officers
will undergo customer service training
from the first week of next January,
says National Security Minister Gary
He spoke about the development at
yesterday s weekly post-Cabinet media
briefing when asked about alleged
police brutality against Eric Hosein in
Sangre Grande earlier this week.
According to reports, Hosein s family
says he has been hospitalised since
being pushed down a flight of stairs
at a bar during an altercation with an
SRP on Saturday. Police reports conflict
with that of the family s account.
Griffith said he was awaiting infor-
mation on it yesterday from acting
Police Commissioner Stephen
He said such allegations did not help
foster public trust in the police. If true,
he said, it showed the importance for
proper training for police in the concept
Griffith said it was a fact that police
needed better mechanisms for training,
including customer service training,
as the service worked for citizens. He
said, however, that only a small number
of police gave the service a bad name.
The minister said police recruit train-
ing lasted six months and was limited
in customer service training, how to
deal with customers and how to under-
stand and respect and deal with citizens
in distress and how to speak to them.
Griffith added: "Even if someone is
a criminal or behind bars they still have
rights and you can t abuse your author-
ity as a police officer.
"We can also speak of concerns we
had when people ask police officers
for their name and ID number and
He said the National Training Acad-
emy would facilitate the customer serv-
ice training not only for police officers
but also immigration officers, since
there has been concern about a lack
of diplomacy in that sector.
Griffith said Government also would
be facilitating larger batches of police
recruits from the new year, rather than
the usual 153, which would help free
up soldiers to secure forested and
rougher terrain and T&T s borders
under the ministry s new crime plans.
Currently, Griffith said, the shortage
of police had necessitated soldiers
assisting police in joint patrols but that
would soon be alleviated by the
increased police batches.
While he said he was not speaking
about the now-defunct "soldier/police
bill", Griffith said having soldiers
involved in joint patrols was affecting
the avenues for border protection,
which he intended to deal with soon,
via increased batches of police.
Government is looking to next Tues-
day s crime symposium with renowned
US police chief William Bratton for
"heavy quick-win" operational policies
to be used immediately to reduce crime.
The symposium is on Government s
anti-crime theme, "A Country to
Bratton is a well known former police
chief in New York, Los Angles and
Boston police departments and is
presently an adviser to the English
Griffith said the seminar could play
a major part towards operations in
national security policies and the Police
Bratton also will be involved in con-
ferences with the National Security
Council, Police Service, Police Com-
plaints Authority and the business sec-
Developer breaks silence on project:
PSA spent no $$
on La Forteresse
for cops next year
A car used by PSA president Watson Duke, which was parked on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, close
to the Industrial Court yesterday, is wrecked by a member of the Traffic Branch. PHOTO: DEREK ACHONG
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