accused Laqtel of... failing to provide the authority with
the performance bond as required,
Telecommunications Authority of T&T (TATT) has filed
charges against Laqtel Ltd, the cash-strapped telecommunications
company formed by businessman Joe Laquis, for failure to
post a $4 million performance bond with TATT.
Laqtel is expected to appear in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates
Court on Monday to answer the charges.
If found guilty, the company could be fined $250,000 and
sentenced to five years imprisonment.
The section under which the charge was laid also provides
for a further fine of $10,000 a day for each day the offence
continues after conviction.
Laqtel was required to post the bond under the terms of
a concession granted to it by TATT for the operation of
a public domestic mobile telecommunications network and
public domestic mobile telecommunications services. The
bond was to guarantee that Laqtel lived up to the obligations
of the concession.
The concession was awarded on December 31, 2005 and the
bond should have been posted by January 14, 2006.
TATT accused Laqtel of committing an offence under section
65(b) of the Telecommunications Act 2001 by failing to provide
the authority with the performance bond as required by condition
A13 of its concession.
TATT said it has been patient with Laqtel, writing the company
several times to remind it to pay the bond. TATT said it
could not wait any longer.
TATT said it did not want to move against Laqtel before
because it thought punitive action might have prevented
the company from launching its services and the authority
considered that it was in the publics best interest
to have a third mobile telecommunications provider in the
In addition, TATT said it considered the fact that Laqtel
did pay its spectrum fees for ten yearsa non-refundable
sum of US$2,325,000.
In a release yesterday, TATT noted that Laqtel had failed
to launch its mobile network and mobile services by the
deadline of December 30, 2006. However, TATT said that based
on representations made to the authority by
Laqtel about its progress in organising its business it
would not penalise the company for this failure at this
The authority said Laqtel must meet clear and precise
deadlines in respect of rolling out its mobile network
and said it would review its position on or after December