The trinidad Guardian / Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General Stuart Young says apart from the individuals named in a lawsuit being pursued by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Government is going after other individuals who may have obtained money through fraudulent means in the matter.
At a press conference at Government Campus in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Young said through Government’s drive of “following the money,” it had unearthed further information possibly linking other individuals to the matter, which may also include “big fish.”
He also detailed some aspects of the civil suit filed in the High Court on June 28, which raised issues over why the value of a property purchased by the HDC at Eden Gardens in Freeport increased by more than $100 million. The claims against the defendants include bribery, a breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. Allegations of a $50,000 bribe being paid to a public servant to inflate the value of a 50-acre parcel of land at Eden Gardens were also raised in the lawsuit.
The claim comes eight months after Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi initiated legal action against the defendants on allegations of corruption, but the document was only unsealed last Wednesday.
Yesterday, Young said over the last 20 months the AG’s office had been working with several international lawyers, investigators and forensic auditors “in the pursuit of actions against white collar crime.”
“What I would like the public to be aware of is I expect a lot of fearmongering to take place, accusations of political witch-hunting and a lot of other crimes, which are really meant to distract the population away from the real issues,” he said.
“We will not be deterred by that and we have gone about in the last 20 months utilising the best international talent possible in bringing these claims, which has not cost the taxpayers any where near the hundreds or tens of millions of dollars.”
He said in October 2015 there was a movement from gathering information to collating evidence which was analysed by attorneys.
Young said when the claim was initially sent out it was not served on any of the defendants, which is in keeping with the Civil Proceedings Rules that permit a period of three to four months to serve a claim.
“During that period of time, what we did for the first time was make an application to the court and were granted orders to follow the money. This is a transaction where $175 million of taxpayers’ money was spent and under the leadership of the AG we followed the money and this week we have amended the claim which was filed on June 20, 2017.”
He said several new defendants were added to the lawsuit as a result of this process.
Young said as the investigations continued, once there was evidence for criminal proceedings this will be sent to the police and DPP.
Other individuals linked to HDC lawsuit being sought
Con Información de The trinidad Guardian
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