of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau, ASP Joseph Edwards,
centre, and two of his colleagues stand outside Clicos
main entrance on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday,
shortly after they arrived at the company to conduct a search.
The saga surrounding Opposition Leader Basdeo Pandays
London bank account continued yesterday as top investigators
from the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau raided the
Maraval home and Port-of-Spain office of billionaire businessman
The search for financial documents comes a mere three days
before Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls is expected to
deliver his ruling against Panday, who is alleged to have
made a false declaration of income and assets for the years
1997, 1999 and 1998, contrary to section 27 (1)(b) the Integrity
in Public Life Act 1987.
Panday has already told the court in his defence that it was
Duprey, executive chairman of CL Financial Holdings Ltd, who
gave his wife Oma, £119,183 (TT$1.2 million) as a scholarship
grant for Pandays two daughters who were studying in
But called by the former prime minister to support his claim,
the insurance magnate admitted giving the money to Panday,
not as a scholarship but as financial assistance for the two
girls to pursue their law studies.
Duprey also could not remember from which of the companys
accounts the money had been taken.
Investigating officers said yesterday that it was based on
Dupreys and Pandays testimony about the financial
assistance, coupled with ongoing investigations, that detectives
obtained warrants late Thursday to search Dupreys office
in Port-of-Spain and his home in Fairways, Maraval.
A team of detectives led by head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau,
Assistant Supt Joseph Edwards, arrived at Clicos headquarters,
St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, around noon yesterday to
conduct their search for top secret documents.
On arrival at the building the detectives went to the security
checkpoint and identified themselves.
They told the guards they had a warrant to search and needed
to interview certain people.
After several calls to officials by the security officers,
the police were allowed access into the main offices.
As Joseph and his team began searching the office other detectives
conducted a simultaneous operation at Dupreys home.
The search at Dupreys home did not take as long as that
at his St Vincent Street office.
A spokesman described the searches as a sequel to Pandays
account, tied with other ongoing investigations.
The source did not want to give too much details. But he said
investigating officers were looking for financial documents
to support Dupreys story that he did in fact give Oma
the money and from which account it had been taken.
The spokesman said several senior employees of Clico, among
them accountants, were interviewed.
The police also examined financial records and diaries. The
search at Clicos office ended after 4.30 pm.
Police said those interviewed were cordial.
Duprey said in his testimony that although he gave the money
to the Pandays, he never asked for any curry favours
from the former prime minister.
Panday is expected to know his fate on Monday when Mc Nicolls
delivers his ruling in the case which has generated much public
Panday has retained Queens Counsel Allan Newman to represent
him while the State has hired Sir Timothy Cassel to conduct
Meanwhile, senior police officers said yesterday that extra
manpower would be deployed at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates
Court on Monday for the decision.
They said security would be beefed up in anticipation of the
many UNC supporters expected to flock the courthouse to support