Friday 5th March, 2004


Cops target MP in $1b airport scam

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One sitting Member of Parliament and about14 other people, who were involved in the $1.6 billion Piarco Airport terminal project, will soon face corruption charges.

Sources confirmed that arrests were imminent, and arose out of an investigation into the project by forensic expert Bob Lindquist.

One source said Lindquist met Attorney General John Jeremie last evening to discuss the issue.

Neither Jeremie, Lindquist nor Police Commissioner Everald Snaggs could be reached last night for comment.

TV6 News reported last night that Lindquist and Interpol officers had discovered more than $1billion stashed away in off-shore accounts, arising out of corruption in the airport project.

TV6 also reported the investigation was based on information contained in the final report from the 10-month Inquiry into the project, which was chaired by former Chief Justice Clinton Bernard.

On September 5, 2003, after report on the inquiry was submitted, then Attorney General Glenda Morean told the media to expect charges to arise out of the inquiry.

Sources also said people who had already been charged for corruption practices in the project may be charged again.

Former UNC Government Ministers Brian Kuei Tung and Russell Huggins; Maritime executives John Smith, Steve Ferguson and Barbara Gomes; Northern Construction Ltd chairman Ishwar Galbaransingh and CEO Amrith Maharaj and businesswoman Renee Pierre, face 21 charges out of a preliminary investigation into the Piarco Airport terminal project.

On November 20, 2003, Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls set March 8, 2004 (Monday), as the date when a preliminary inquiry into those 21 charges would begin.

Interviewed on TV6 last night, Opposition and UNC Leader Basdeo Panday said he was unaware of the imminent arrests.

Panday demanded to know what the charges were and what was the evidence against the accused.

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