Home / Volley / Global Football / Hadeed on TTFA/Argentina scandal: The fellah is an absolute f***ing crook!

Hadeed on TTFA/Argentina scandal: The fellah is an absolute f***ing crook!

“(Darren) Millien is a person that no one should have any business association with,” Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed told Wired868. “The fellah is an absolute f***ing crook! That fellah is a scamp… I don’t know how (the TTFA) hired him.”

Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed is renowned for speaking bluntly; and he was not about to deviate from that habit when Wired868 enquired about the Trinidad and Tobago national football team’s excursion to Buenos Aires in June to face a Lionel Messi-led Argentina team.

Photo: Minister of Tourism Gerald Hadeed.
Photo: Minister of Tourism Gerald Hadeed.

The Ministry of Tourism bankrolled the affair with an initial budget of $2.1 million. But $400,000 went missing and it caused a default on the payment for a chartered plane. The end result was an additional $1.2 million bill for taxpayers so the Government could book Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to complete the job.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips and marketing official Darren Millien, both employees of football president Raymond Tim Kee, were fingered by Hadeed in the disappearance of taxpayers’ money. (Read Part One for more on both men and their roles within local football).

But let us start closer to the beginning. The TTFA contacted the Tourism Ministry for financial assistance in taking the “Soca Warriors” to Buenos Aires for a high-profile exhibition game on June 4, which was a week before the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The game would supposedly be beamed into 300 million homes and, at $2.1 million, the Tour Minister felt it represented excellent value for Trinidad and Tobago’s money.

“We are the last in the chain of islands when you are coming from North America or Europe,” said Hadeed, “so it takes more money to come to us than to go any other island. But we are the first and the cheapest destination if you are coming from South America…

“Do you know that 60 percent of our LNG goes to South America now? Our market is expanding in Central and South America. So our tourism program is gearing towards Central and South America.”

A chance for Trinidad and Tobago to share advertising space with Argentine superstar and the finest player of his generation, Messi, seemed a mouth watering opportunity. And Hadeed instructed his then Permanent Secretary Juliana Boodram to make it happen.

Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (right) is tackled by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during their international fixture in Buenos Aires on 4 June 2014. (Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)
Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (right) is tackled by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during their international fixture in Buenos Aires on 4 June 2014.
(Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)

Due to administrative and bureaucratic issues, the Tourism Minister opted against dealing directly with a booking agency. Instead, the TTFA served as a middle-man between the Government and the football body’s primary tour operator, Nissi Tours.

Millien was not involved in the initial negotiations with the Tourism Ministry but was inserted by Phillips once the Governments funds were approved.

“Darren (Millien) has been my go to guy for the tour arrangements,” Phillips told the tour operator, via one email. “The ministry confirmed everything so he should be contacting you…”

The Government’s disbursement was split into three tranches. Tranche One, in the sum of $900,000, was made by the Government on May 14 and immediately forwarded to the account of Nissi Tours. It did not stay there long, though.

Even before the payment, Millien, according to an informed source, informed the travel company that it should immediately give $400,000 in cash from this figure to the TTFA, payable in two parts on May 14 and 15. Wired868 was shown the corresponding What’s App messages as evidence of the conversation.

The payment, according to the messages, was described as a “licensing fee… for permission to use the logo of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.” Millien, according to the source, claimed he wanted it in cash so it could be immediately used to facilitate different payments.

Tim Kee was very sceptical of Nissi Tours’ claim.

“When I heard that $400,000 was paid to an individual in cash; that threw up a red flag for me,” Tim Kee told Wired868. “I felt that allegation was rather irregular.”

Photo: Former 2006 World Cup played David Charles (far right) watches as TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) embraces 2006 World Cup player Kelvin Jack during a short-lived settlement in May 2013. Looking on are teammates Brent Sancho (far left) and Cyd Gray. Charles felt he was tricked by the TTFA for a second time over a controversial "licensing fee." (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Former 2006 World Cup played David Charles (far right) watches as TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) embraces 2006 World Cup player Kelvin Jack during a short-lived settlement in May 2013.
Looking on are teammates Brent Sancho (far left) and Cyd Gray.
Charles felt he was tricked by the TTFA for a second time over a controversial “licensing fee.”
(Courtesy Wired868)

In fact, cash payments in brown envelopes were a regular feature of Jack Warner’s tenure in football; and Tim Kee served as Warner’s vice-president for nearly two decades.

Wired868 can confirm that Tim Kee’s own employee, Phillips, paid over a dozen Trinidad and Tobago national senior team women’s footballers almost US$3,000 each in brown envelopes, just before they boarded a flight for Mexico City on October 30 at the Piarco International Airport.

Nissi Tours representative David Atiba Charles, a World Cup 2006 defender, was paid countless times in cash by the TTFA during his international careers.

Still, Charles admitted he was nervous when he collected $200,000 in a big, brown envelope from a bank branch in Marabella, on May 14, and headed to Port of Spain to meet Millien. He said Millien asked him to come to the Hyatt—rather than at the TTFA headquarters—and, once there, instructed him to meet him in the car park.

Charles claimed Millien said he did not want to sign for the money and suggested Phillips would do so later. But when Charles insisted that he needed a signature for his own protection, the TTFA representative obliged with a carefree swish of his pen.

Knowing Millien was the TTFA’s agent, Charles felt he did not need to check the signature against the marketing man’s ID card or driver’s license.

The next day, as Charles prepared for his second delivery, Millien allegedly said he was at the TTFA’s office. Rather than meet there, he told Charles to take the money to MovieTowne and wait outside the Ruby Tuesday restaurant.

Charles stood on the pavement when Millien drove up in a black Mercedes. He never got out. Millien instructed the Nissi rep to toss the envelope in the back seat and, remaining at the wheel, he signed for receipt and drove off.

Photo: One 2 One Marketing director Darren Millien runs the TTFA's FIFA-funded income generation programme.
Photo: One 2 One Marketing director Darren Millien runs the TTFA’s FIFA-funded income generation programme.

When Charles returned to the Nissi office with the invoice, he realised the first and second signatures were different and said so to his fellow directors; none of them knew what to make of it.

Millien described Charles’ story as a wild and ridiculous accusation.

“I told them to provide proof,” Millien told Wired868. “They said they had receipts showing that I signed for $400,000. But when we looked at it, it was nothing like my signature.

“I presented copies of my signature and it was nothing like it.”

Tim Kee was satisfied with Millien’s defence.

“I am not a handwriting expert,” said Tim Kee, “but it was very clear that the signatures were very different.”

Are two separate signatures by the same thief—both wildly differing from the real thing and each other—the sign of a bad forger? Or was it an indication of someone trying too hard to make it look like bad forgery?

The $900,000 payment was supposed to go towards the chartered airline, which cost $1.2 million. And, on May 16, the Ministry of Tourism released a second payment of $700,000, which should have completed the charter booking and most of the hotel costs for the “Soca Warriors” and guests.

The cost of accommodation at Plaza Hotel came up to $500,773 in all.

The final payment of $500,000 was due in just over a week to cover ground transport and other expenses in Buenos Aires. The Ministry of Sport had already spent $700,000 on a training camp for the “Soca Warriors.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point to midfielder Lester Peltier during a training session in Buenos Aires. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point to midfielder Lester Peltier during a training session in Buenos Aires.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

But Boodram was abroad when the third agreed payment was due from the Government on May 26. She assumed that the major expenses for the trip had been sorted and, despite protests from Millien, she insisted that the TTFA could wait until her return on May 28.

But the TTFA had not met its financial obligations and had run out of Government money. The tour was in jeopardy if the football body could not find $300,000 in time.

Phillips and Millien had $352,000 from fans who paid to attend the Argentina game and they could have used that to make the $300,000 payment for the plane.

But whether the duo had suddenly become paralysed by protocol; or they wanted to teach Boodram a lesson for her stubbornness and apparent criticism of their efforts to sell tour packages, Phillips and Millien did not make the payment from cash in hand and forced Nissi to lose the charter with $780,000 already paid and in limbo. The decision cost taxpayers over a million dollars.

Subsequent events suggest it might have been a disastrous bluff from Phillips and Millien and one that could have far-reaching effects for the football body.

On May 30, Hadeed turned white when he was informed that the TTFA had lost its chartered plane due to a “default payment”; and he immediately summoned the TTFA and Nissi Tours to an emergency meeting.

Apart from Hadeed and his Permanent Secretary, Tim Kee, Phillips, Millien, TTFA marketing official Kyle Lequay, Nissi Tours director Cavelle George and Tourism Ministry representative Gina Welsh were identified in the secret recording that was leaked to Wired868.

“What default payment?!” Hadeed asked Phillips. “My Permanent Secretary said $1.5 million (sic) was handed over not this Thursday (but) the Thursday before and the cost at that time for the airplane was 1.2 million…”

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and general secretary Sheldon Phillips. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Boodram was incredulous as she told the Minister that somehow, despite their allocations plus the tickets sold, the TTFA claimed to be short of the money needed for the charter.

“I was informed by Mr Millien that if we did not pay $300,000, the charter could be cancelled,” said Boodram. “I told Mr Millien that we had already paid $1.6 million and I could not believe that a charter would be cancelled after this amount of money was already issued…

“I felt the TTFA should have sufficient money to cover all costs.”

Millien interjected to say that some of the various parties in Argentina needed up-front payments and some money was used for that.

“The payment is not just for a plane,” he explained, “it is for a host of services.”

“But at that point you had $1.6 million…” Boodram retorted.

“She does not understand,” said Millien. And he and fellow TTFA marketing official Kyle Lequay giggled.

“You should have paid it from your money,” advised Boodram.

“From what?” asked Millien. “The Association is broke.”

Welch pointed out the TTFA had over $350,000 from the sale of tour packages that it could have used instead of scrapping the entire operation.

“We were told we could not touch that money,” said Millien. “It was included in the contract.”

“We couldn’t touch it,” said Phillips, who might have felt the elected officials had more to lose in that unravelling scenario.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips has no intention of babysitting on December 2. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips has no intention of babysitting on December 2.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

“The TTFA needed $300,000 for this operation (and) I said the PS is off the island and would be coming in on Monday and you will be paid then,” said Hadeed. “Now if you had to intimated to me that you had 300,000 in cash, I would have given you the authority to go ahead and use the money.

“But nobody didn’t say anything like that; nobody.”

“Because we were under strict instructions not to touch it,” said Millien. “It was even in the contract.”

“Brother, if you needed the damn money and you had 300 (thousand) in hand,” replied the Minister, “wouldn’t it have been better to just to ask permission to take the money and use it?!”

“Sir, I would have asked that,” said Millien, “if i wasn’t given strict instructions before.”

“This has got to be the greatest embarrassment I have ever faced,” said Hadeed.

Boodram is even more emotional.

“You see this what has happened?” she asked, rhetorically. “You all don’t know what you have done to me. I have never felt like this in my life and I will never feel like this in my life again.

“Because I am never going to have dealings with anyone here again.”

The TTFA contingent ignored her.

“We have to find some way to get this team to Argentina,” said Phillips, “and I think that is where we should be focusing our energy.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national football head coach Stephen Hart (centre) and captain Kenwyne Jones (right) land in Buenos Aires for a June 4 friendly against Argentina. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national football head coach Stephen Hart (centre) and captain Kenwyne Jones (right) land in Buenos Aires for a June 4 friendly against Argentina.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)

The meeting subsequently decided that there were three options available: a new chartered airline, a deal with Caribbean Airlines (which was initially considered too expensive) or splitting the Warriors into three travel parties and sending them on commercial flights to Argentina while reimbursing the public.

Phillips said he preferred the CAL option although it would have to be arranged “Minister to Minister.” Tim Kee agreed.

“I have all kind of options but who’s paying?!” asked Hadeed. “The question is who’s paying?! 1.6 million’s gone already!”

Hadeed decided he wanted to hear a more detailed breakdown of the spending for the Argentina trip, which George provided.  He stopped her at the mention of a $400,000 payment to the TTFA for a licensing fee.

“Licensing fee?” asked Hadeed. “What is that?”

Although it was the third largest line item of the entire budget statement, apparently no one from the TTFA could provide an answer.

Hadeed asked Millien, who was seated right beside Charles, if he received any such payment. Millien said it was news to him; but George insisted.

Hadeed asked Charles if he had given that money to Millien.

“Yes,” Charles said.

Millien immediately said he wanted to speak to his lawyer. Pandemonium followed.

“I will get to the bottom of this!” Hadeed thundered.

While their marketing official spoke to someone on his mobile, Tim Kee and Phillips approached the Nissi contingent.

“Darren did that?!” asked Phillips, while shaking his head from side to side to suggest disbelief. “Nooooo!”

“Do you have his signature?” enquired Tim Kee. “Were there any video cameras?”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona (left) and his wife Reema Harrysingh-Carmona (centre) arrive in Argentina. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona (left) and his wife Reema Harrysingh-Carmona (centre) arrive in Argentina.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)

According to Charles’ testimony, Millien was allegedly very careful to avoid cameras.

Wired868 contacted MovieTowne owner Derek Chin about video footage for the area. He said that, as standard procedure, tapes are erased within two months once no incident has been reported.

All that remained, apparently, was an audited statement from Nissi Tours, Charles’ witness statement, two irregular signatures and several What’s App messages.

Within 24 hours of the explosive meeting in the Ministry of Tourism, Millien boarded a plane for Miami where he allegedly stayed for weeks.

Hadeed said he, in tandem with Tim Kee, immediately launched an investigation into the matter.

“We got statements from (Cavelle George) and my permanent secretary and I know Mr Tim Kee immediately cut the fellah’s throat and gave the matter to the police to investigate for fraud,” said Hadeed. “So the police has the matter. I am giving you the facts…”

Hadeed gave further details of his own investigation.

“What really happened is this fellah, Mr Millien, (allegedly) prepared documentation for the travel agent in San Fernando,” said Hadeed, “which he forged saying the federation needed to have $400,000 for the rights to use its name.

“So the poor lady, who didn’t know any better, gave him the money. So he lied.”

As suggested by Phillips and Tim Kee, the Minister of Tourism chartered a CAL plane to ensure that the game came off although, Wired868 understands, CAL’s $1.2 million bill remains unpaid.

In Buenos Aires, Boodram did little to hide her feelings towards Tim Kee and Phillips. In a June 3 email, she threatened to report the football executives to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for breach of contract.

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and general secretary Sheldon Phillips. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“Dear Mayor and Sheldon, I have retrieved the email thread which categorically states that the TTFA would receive and give us a block of Category 1 tickets,” she wrote. “If I do not get the tickets by 6 pm today, I will inform fans that (the) TTFA has not lived up to their end of our agreement… and I would escalate this matter to the PM.

“We were told that tickets would have been given to (the) TTFA. Please let me know when to collect the tickets.”

Phillips replied by trying to shift the blame.

“Dear PS. Have you established with Cavelle the amount of tickets she will have to purchase tomorrow?” asked Phillips. “I have made arrangements with AFA to have someone in place at their office who Cavelle can see to purchase the tickets…

“To ensure the football fans who have paid for the package are taken care of, should Nissi fail to follow through on their obligation to provide the match tickets to package holders, the TTFA is prepared to provide tickets to those paying fans from our allotment.”

Boodram’s response, also copied to Tim Kee, was blunt.

“Dear Sheldon and Cavelle, at this point in time it really doesn’t matter how we get tickets to the fans,” said Boodram. “You two can work that out. Whether it comes from the $400k that you will recover from thieving crook Darren who represented you and TTFA or from whichever source, at this time I am not concerned.

“Just have 130 tickets to fans who came here primarily to see the football game.”

The Permanent Secretary also warned Tim Kee and Phillips that she wanted a breakdown of their use of state funding as soon as they returned to Trinidad.

“Sheldon, when we return to Trinidad, I will formally request from TTFA a breakdown of how our funds were to be allocated and how they were actually allocated,” said Boodram. “… I am sure neither of you want this scandal on your hands. It really doesn’t matter to me. I am here to promote Trinidad and Tobago.

“Sheldon, you decide if you want the Trinidad public to continue to support football and TTFA. I expect us to have all tickets in hand by tomorrow at 11 am.”

Tim Kee, who is also the PNM treasurer, did not respond in writing; but Phillips’ next email, on the morning of the match, suggested he was keen to stifle any potential scandal. The response referred to his most illustrious title.

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the global football body's Zurich headquarters.
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the global football body’s Zurich headquarters.

“Dear PS and Ms George, pursuant to the ongoing issue connected to tickets for tonight’s match, Mayor Tim Kee requests your presence for a meeting at 11.30 am today,” wrote Phillips. “Please meet us at the Etoile Hotel lobby… Thank you, Sheldon.”

Nissi Tours did get the travellers their match tickets but from a different source and at a quarter of the US$65 price quoted by Phillips.

On their return to Trinidad, though, Boodram landed in hot water with Head of the Public Service, Reynold Cooper, for her failure to get the necessary approval for the trip. And she was transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister.

And what about Millien?

The Minister said he hopes Millien is made to answer for the missing money.

“This Millien is the same fellah who was working with Hunt and put up the $2 million flag,” said Hadeed, who claimed to be unaware of Millien’s present location. “And the fellah took the money and he disappeared out of Trinidad to Miami and absconded to Miami. I have never heard about him again.

“For me, they should lay a charge of fraud against the man and get Interpol to charge him… I am surprised (this story) only now surface.”

But, if Tim Kee promised to lay fraud charges against Millien, he did not keep his word.

Tim Kee told the TV6 Morning Show that he instructed Phillips, the person who worked in tandem with Millien, to handle the police report. And, remarkably, Millien helped.

The police could find no report of fraud laid against Millien or the TTFA. Instead, the football body claimed to file a fraud matter against Nissi Tours almost three months after the May 30 showdown at the Tourism Ministry.

Photo: Argentina forward Rodrigo Palacio (right) heads home the opening goal against Trinidad and Tobago on June 4. (Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)
Photo: Argentina forward Rodrigo Palacio (right) heads home the opening goal against Trinidad and Tobago on June 4.
(Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)

“We were asking hard questions of (Nissi Tours) and they only thing they could come up with was they paid me $400,000 in cash,” said Millien. “We sent the report to the Fraud Squad. They have to answer questions about the wild allegations of $400,000 in cash.”

Wired868 has a copy of a letter sent by Phillips to Nissi Tours on May 27, around the time that Millien said the TTFA was asking hard questions of the travel company.

On a TTFA letterhead, Phillips offered Nissi Tours a lucrative four-year partnership and promised to use the company for supposed upcoming international friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Brazil as well as for the Caribbean Cup and Gold Cup tournaments.

“We are prepared to establish a multi-year partnership where years 2014-2018 will require need for charter service,” stated Phillips. “The TTFA “Beyond the Pitch” strategy is an approach embraced by the Ministry of Tourism to utilize football, particularly senior men’s national team matches, as a vehicle to highlight and promote Brand T&T…

“Thank you for joining our commercial family and we look forward to developing this most important element of our commercial strategy.”

Hadeed’s opinion is that Phillips and Millien are working together and Trinidad and Tobago would be better without them.

“To be honest, you shouldn’t be looking at Mr Tim Kee,” said Hadeed, “you should be looking at the General Secretary and Mr Millien.”

But Tim Kee kept both employees; and he defended them to Wired868 and, again, on the TV6 Morning Show.

Tim Kee blamed Boodram for the default on the charter and dismissed the Permanent Secretary’s insinuation that Millien was crooked.

“I know she said that; but I also heard of things said about her from other Permanent Secretaries,” said Tim Kee. “So, I felt (the accusation against Millien) didn’t hold water because of the person making the allegation. The priest is making allegation but the priest interfering with children.

“That same individual caused us to lose an airline to whom money was paid because she is the one who did not pay on the deadline as requested. She was defending a position that was indefensible and trying to blame everyone else for her faux pas.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and former Sport Minister Anil Roberts at the FIFA World Cup trophy tour in 2013. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and former Sport Minister Anil Roberts at the FIFA World Cup trophy tour in 2013.
(Courtesy Wired868)

He described Millien as someone he knew and respected for a long time.

At present, Millien is in charge of the TTFA’s FIFA-funded income generation programme while he is also entrusted with the job of raising funds from corporate Trinidad and Tobago. Millien’s One 2 One Marketing company received just over $60,000 from the cash-strapped TTFA for services rendered over the last two months while Phillips’ salary, including housing allowance, is around $45,000 per month exclusive of a company car.

“Sheldon hired Darren Millien as he seemed to have had the qualifications to do (the job) and I do not micro-manage,” said the football president. “As a human being, I myself have been subjected to a lot of things that were untrue; so I didn’t want to judge Darren on anything that might not be true.

“But, anytime I catch him, he will be on his own… I’m not taking that kind of blame at this stage of my life.”

Hadeed claimed to be stunned when Wired868 informed him that Millien was not only back in Trinidad but also a paid employee of the TTFA. Tim Kee, according to a source, also falsely informed the TTFA executive committee on November 17 that he cut ties with the controversial marketing man.

“He’s there still?!” asked Hadeed. “You’re telling me they still paying that fellah?! The fellah is an absolute scamp.”

The Minister told Wired868 that he would look into the supposed report to the Fraud Squad straightaway and wanted action taken over the matter.

“I am not stopping until the police lay charges,” said Hadeed. “We as ministers have to stand up and answer questions in Parliament and sometimes these things are not in our hands and make us look bad.

“We’re trying to help the country and promote our brand; to play Argentina just before the World Cup with Messi playing was such a wonderful opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago… We got real promotion for that game and we had a little carnival show and tassa and what not that was seen in millions of homes…”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Ataulla Guerra (left) takes on Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano during a friendly on 4 June 2014. (Copyright AFP 2014/Daniel Garcia)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Ataulla Guerra (left) takes on Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano during a friendly on 4 June 2014.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Daniel Garcia)

The trip was Hadeed’s final project with Boodram and, without being asked about his Permanent Secretary, he wished her well.

“Boodram was a lady who had Trinidad and Tobago at heart,” he said. “Whatever anyone has to say; (and) although she might be unorthodox.”

He did not feel the same way about Phillips and Millien.

“I don’t understand how people can do that to their country,” he said.

If the TTFA’s controversial “licensing fee” is not already before the Fraud Squad, Hadeed promised it will be soon.

 

Editor’s Note: (Part One) TTFA marketing official Darren Millien fingered in financial scandal involving T&T’s friendly against Argentina; general secretary Sheldon Phillips’ denies role as match agent while president Raymond Tim Kee defends both men. Click HERE to read.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

Check Also

Seven Connection players in T&T U-15 team; ‘Dada’ and Look Loy complain about poaching

Trinidad and Tobago Boys’ National Under-15 Team head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier has announced his 20-man …

224 comments

  1. I would like to publicly clear Darren Millien’s name in this matter. I have proof that the real culprit responsible for the missing $400,000 is Lasana Liburd.

    Please see the voucher in the hyperlink below. This voucher has Mr Liburd’s name written on it as well as a scribble that I will certify as being his signature. I expect a thorough investigation of this matter with the report being submitted to the fraud squad.
    http://s22.postimg.org/cfo587ejl/Screenshot_2015_01_10_20_33_01_2.jpg

  2. Well I feeling sorry for Nissi Tours and David Atiba Charles but they looking bad for their lack of business acumen. They should never give TTFA 400K in cash oh god give them a cheque. Who in this day and age will give 400k in cash to a 3rd Party you don’t even know? give TTFA a Managers cheque if they need the money immediately and tell Millien that you don’t do business by cash so too bad for him.
    The money already in Nissi Tours account so when you issue a cheque you have a proper audit trail. Look it appears that Nissi Tours is innocent in the matter but the case against Millien and the TTFA might be hard to prove in court. However, Nissi tours accountant should have advised his company better knowing they didn’t have a relationship with Millien before and the reputation of TTFA.

  3. It frustrates the heck out of me to see the bs that has been going on for YEARSSSS in the TTFF. It pains me to see what they do to innocent people who put their heart and soul to work for this country, and have YET to be paid because of unscrupulous scoundrels like the aforementioned, but at the end of the day, some where along the line, I believe justice will prevail.

  4. Well we saw it with Anand just blowing hot air about Calder Hart and letting his palls Ish and Steve go.

  5. This just shows that it is WORTH the try, cause at the end of the day, if you don’t get a promotion, you might get a tap on the wrist.,,, but you still get to keep the money and bs your way out. That is what the young generation now is watching and learning. Thankfully for Mr. Liburd that has some cajones to blow a whistle and attempt to shame them, cause everyone else just does not have the energy to fight the fight to the end.

  6. And that is why the thieves will never be investigated, charged or jailed! Because they’re recycled and seasoned

  7. I guess our plan is to exchange thieves every 5 years. Give each side an equal opportunity to rape the treasury.

  8. Yes, but a little again, he would have been permanently wearing Kamla’s shoes had it not been for timely intervention of ‘investigations’.

  9. ha Ha Maria Antonia Sagar . Jack was acting PM on more than one occasion .

  10. Maria Antonia Sagar, not nearly, the man acted a few times

  11. ^^ You forget Jack “The Bribe”?

  12. “that a man supposedly under investigation for fraud is paid to head your football body’s fund raising drive.” I tell you , the more you tief, the higher your promotion in this country. Look at Jack, he nearly reach PM.

  13. Help him get to jail Adrian Clarke I volunteer

  14. We should offer to help the man. I intend to try and help the TTFA

  15. I have asked before and I will ask again – why was Tim Kee appointed as the Mayor?

  16. Lasana , That list would have caused a CoE in any real country. Yet still the government gives the football body an annual multimillion subvention, despite not having a functional, competent financial controller or accounts. The TTFA needs to separate financial management from the operational matters.

  17. It is another sad day for Caribbean Sport. It is high time that an independent Committee be set up with the proper authority and powers to investigate dubious acts in all Sport in the Caribbean.

  18. What going on really? Cause is PNM treasurer nun wrong?

  19. The license fee was disclosed long before Jason or Wired868.
    Christophe Brathwaite, there is the matter of the general secretary’s emails from his supposedly defunct match agency companies and the info about how much can be made by an unscrupulous match agent on the inside of a football board.
    Or the general secretary’s remuneration of around $45 k per month (which is a raise for that position) comes while coaches and players unpaid.
    Or that they complain about no sponsorship revenue but go to Chevrolet and gives them advertising space at national games in exchange for car that General secretary has control over.
    Or that Tim Kee thought it wise to let two key members of fraid claim write and file a report on the matter to the police.
    Or that a man supposedly under investigation for fraud is paid to head your football body’s fund raising drive. Or that the PNM treasurer is running a company that hasn’t submitted an audited statement for the duration of his presidency.
    All that is just off the top of my head.
    To be honest though, I can’t control what people discuss from a story. And I shouldn’t try to.
    I had just hoped any of those might have been a talking point too… But carry on T&T! 🙂

  20. He is safe …he can only reconcile what they submit to him

  21. No wonder the “licence” fee was disclosed. I guess Jason not playing with his ACCA qualification to cover up any $hit.

  22. Well we cant talk about the third highest line item in splendid isolation it has to do with a 400k drop..It was requested by who, dropped by who, signed by who…and when the TTFA found out there was a delay and yet we not sure if fraud squad have it ….where else you want to go?

  23. Jason is a qualified accountant, so any information disclosed in the report would be obtained from representations from the Nissi Management. He may have just confirmed the report form and presentation and not the numbers if he presented an Accountants report and not an Audit Report.

  24. And I hope all possible errors are investigated Christophe Brathwaite. My story focuses on the glaring case of the third highest line item, which is the licensing fee. But any other revelations are welcomed.
    I agree with Pinard that there should be no sacred cows.
    I already made it clear why I think this case matters.
    We are now moving from the talking point of David Charles to Nissi’s rates as opposed to market value. No figures given as to what is unusual; just a leading suggestion.
    But I’m a patient man. I figure this thread must reach to the business of the TTFA eventually.

  25. Let me ask a question, who are the major interest holders in Nissi Tours, have they any connection to the current ruling party and how long has Nissi Tours been in existence?

  26. Who “Audited” the statement from Nissi?

  27. Lasana Liburd I being a southy utilized my sources and maybe you should try and get a copy of the Financial statement issued by Nissi Tours to the Ministry. It is alleged that some of the figures are inconsistent to market rates and there maybe some other arithmetical errors.

  28. In most fraud cases there is usually collusion for the fraud to be successful. I can safely say that i have investigated more fraud cases than anyone on this thread. We usually have to make some assumptions when all the facts are not known. Most of us cannot comprehend how someone could make such large cash payments in a car park and not question the transaction. On the other hand the TTFA conducted brown envelope transactions on a routine basis for over 20 years under Jack Warner. Charles was apparently “accustomed” to making brown bag payments, so maybe he believed it was a routine transaction,. Even though it was included in the Audited Statement from Nissi, someone from the TTFA would have said they never received it thereby setting in motion the claim for fraud. From the articles it was not clear who was the first person in the TTFA to cry foul .

  29. David Charles did the wrong thing by engaging in business in an extremely inappropriate manner (allegedly). He then took responsibility for his actions by turning whistleblower and if it weren’t for hime there “could” likely be no investigation. I say “could” because to date we can’t ascertain that anything has indeed been referred to the Fraud Squad, but if it has it would be as a direct resuld of David Charles whistleblowing.
    A thorough investigation must now be launched into all involved in this case.

  30. We will know when we’re on the right track when we all agree to a full independent investigation of ALL involved, and let the cards fall where they may…no sacred cows!

  31. Lasana Liburd you remind me of me honest to a fault. Careful they cuss yuh like I get last night.

  32. This is surreal.
    It seems the disagreement here stems from everyone agreeing!

  33. Lol how’d I miss this mamaguy?

  34. I’m getting too agitated with this story. Let me just calm down… Carry on T&T.

  35. Lasana this only became a big deal because the 400K was made public by you. Otherwise everyone would be home free with the cash. We still do not know who raised the alarm about the Missing 400K. TTFA or Nissi?

  36. If Nissi had taken money and said nothing, there would be no story and they would not be getting grief on Facebook. So maybe they did make a mistake in truth.
    All now they would be getting taxpayers’ money from the TTFA to fly teams all over the place and there would probably be licensing fees being paid left, right and centre. And everyone would be happy because ignorance is bliss.

  37. Now, we have gone full circle when it comes to the burden of proof. Nissi Tours took $100,000 and then alerted the Ministry of Tourism about itself.
    What is the point about being a whistleblower in Trinidad if people then call you a crook based on no evidence at all Adrian Clarke?
    Statements like that could only encourage everyone to just keep their heads down and go with the flow.
    No, I don’t know for certain that Nissi wasn’t involved. I just think it illogical. I do know for certain that you do NOT know they were.
    But why not casually destroy their reputation anyway.
    I weep for my country.

  38. I done tell allyuh that money split 4 ways. 100K a person . 3 from the TTFA and 1 from Nissi Tours.

  39. Some of us want a thorough investigation but don’t want to name any other name but Charles….so…perhaps if you agree to disagree we can stop going around in circles…

  40. What is amazing me is how we all obviously really want there to be a thorough investigation, yet we can’t for whatever reason see that we all want a thorough investigation.
    The word “thorough” investigation in this case would naturally but not exclusively include David Charles.

    We’re really arguing?

  41. lol ok then….I will try to refrain from insulting anyone for the rest of the day today, since it’s obviously a huge issue, greater than the entire 400K dollars that went missing… but please do refrain also… Christophe Brathwaite

  42. I am not the one hurling insults when they are corrected ..like a spoilt child. So I suggest you check your 6

  43. Btw, the latest comment by CB sounds like a veiled threat…

  44. I am hearing all and sundry commenting about how the investigation should be done. You all should join Trinidad and Tobago Corruption watch then.

  45. Wow….the maturity begins to show.

  46. Yawnnnn who doh hear go feel ..if not today tomorrow

  47. “If this is indicative of the type of governance we will get under a new administration”
    umm, the first thing they did was state they were able to settle with the warriors on income received from “unclaimed commercial revenues” (from CFU level WC qualifiers). that was all the indication anyone needed.
    As TTFA is on the topic of the argentina tour, how about releasing the figures associated with revenues from said tour.
    #SameOldSameOld

  48. That would be the smoking gun – independent verification from an official source attempting to back out.

  49. It is absolutely required Lasana. If this is indicative of the type of governance we will get under a new administration, the public needs to know.

  50. I will forgive the persons who obviously cannot read (or choose not to read) and somehow decided that people are trying to absolve Charles simply because they support an investigation into ALL the persons involved. As the conversation continued to circle and silly accusations that are really beside the point flew around, I had to step away. I also beg to disagree with the strategy that any investigation should first focus on Charles only but then again nobody appears to have read what I wrote but Lasana Liburd…so I don’t expect intelligence from people who simply did not read …or perhaps are like the news reporters who seem to be capable of only reading/understanding one part of the story and forget to ask the pertinent/correct questions relating to all the issues. I understand Lasana’s frustrations thoroughly.

  51. Lasana, doh get frustrated with Christophe questions, he’s seeing it from a legal stance and maybe these are questions that will come up if ever there’s a case to answer. But as I said above, no one’s looking at the bigger picture and I also think past behaviour will always play a part in any case…..yeah

  52. So true Debbie, nobody eh really worried about $400K or all the millions that went missing before.

  53. Well, one possibly fatal error from the TTFA is they offered the players 50 percent after the World Cup. It was just paltry. They then tried to turn around and say that Jack didn’t have their approval when he did it and that he was high on emotion from their draw against Sweden and so on… Might have to call to give you the ball by ball.

  54. I had planned to force the PNM into a statement on the conduct of its treasurer. Is that even worth it? I don’t know.

  55. Did not know that Lasana. I am sure that there was more to it than that though because that seems somewhat flimsy to me. I will look into it further for my own edification.

  56. Thanks Kendall. I see what you’re saying. Someone said, for instance, that this is $400,000 when there are regular reports of millions embezzled.
    I can’t deny that is a fact. There are some new bits of information on wrongdoing that I felt were interesting in this two part series.
    But I guess the sad reality is that corruption is not big news anymore and it is hard for people to get roused by it.
    Even though that doesn’t reflect well on us as a society. And our habit of shrugging will probably mean escape for the wrongdoers here as well.

  57. It is excellent work Lasana and I commend you for your willingness to expose these incidents. You are without a doubt one of the best investigative reporters in the land and you have my respect. Just want to also make that clear as well.

  58. Along with cultural aspect of it, this situation IMO also exposes a general problem across many sports in modern times. They are too many sporting executives/CEO/General secreatries etc who are running these organisations that either never played sports at any serious level or made a contribution to the sport in another aspect with some form of distinction i.e media, team doctor, various sports specialist, official etc.

    In the last maybe 20-30 as the power of television has become overly important, you have all these people from the business community, politicians etc in charge & sadly majority just study the money.

    FIFA issues since Joe Havelange time are well known, Cricket has it with Indian corrupt businessmen running the sport, NBA had it in abundance under former commissioner David Stern took over, WICB has it…..you see it across so many sports worldwide smh

  59. No Kendall. Warner told one player. he had a meeting with the squad and was late and everyone fell asleep. Only Kelvin Jack was awake when Warner got there.

  60. Fair enough. Warner walked into a room of people and made a statement. These incidents are one on one so they are different.

    As regards to TTFA and good governance, that wasn’t at the top of my mind because it is so obvious that these guys are hopeless, each successive story has lessening impact to me.

    In any serious organisation, these guys would have been fired and be facing criminal and civil litigation for their acts.

    That is probably the worst thing about the situation. We have been desensitised by the current barrage of incidents and the lack of consequences.

  61. Malcolm Jack yuh taking too long …you know of what I speak

  62. Charles isn’t a victim. The taxpayers are. The evidence, if true, would suggest he was conned.
    There was no video record of Jack Warner telling one solitary player that he was raising their money to 50 percent. But three different Judges accepted it. So I’m saying video evidence is helpful but cases can easily be won without it.
    But I will just wait for the convo about the TTFA’s responsibility to good governance and its own behaviour with regards to the info raised.
    It isn’t that I am trying to absolve Charles. I just don’t see him in the top three points here.
    But I respect that people will be struck by different things raised in the story. And maybe that shows the story got a wide angle in that it was able to capture so many discussion points.
    I’m just more interested in discussing the governance of football.

  63. And that’s it in a nutshell Lasana. We get the leaders we deserve because we’re all about blah,blah,blah and no action. And The Gov’t knows that and the TTFA knows that and that is why we’l be left to wallow in the cesspit and all your hard work will be in vain because we’re a 9 day wonder Country! But don’t give up Lasana at least you know you tried to make a difference while the rest of us just talked. One day, God willing when Trinis are forced to take their heads out of the sand something may come of this. Other than that the rest done studying how to sneak their grog into the Stadium because TTFA say no coolers, who bringing de ice and next best who are the entertainers cause is FETE and once fete taking place NOBODY studying anything else.

  64. The lawyers should weigh in here. Would love to get their take on all of this.

  65. Lasana – that wasn’t my intention in the slightest. Not suggesting that Charles be treated as the central figure. What I am saying is that his role as a facilitator wasn’t treated with as you viewed him as a victim. He is not a victim in my books.

    As regards to the issue about any potential court case, I would think that since the signatures don’t match and there is no proof of the actual handover, it is Charles word against Millen’s. Asking for the money does not prove he received it.

    To be convicted, proof of the receipt either by matching signatures, video records or deposit of the funds into a beneficiary account of the accused would be required. Reputation has nothing to do with it and any lawyer worth his salt would shred the case in short order. It doesn’t help that the acts of Charles aren’t those of a sensible businessman.

    Charles should be very worried. I would be if I were in his shoes.

  66. Say what yes. I respect all opinions on the matter. I’m frustrated because I’m a Trini and I cover sport and I want better.
    As a country, if we wanted better we would demand it. So my expectations might not be realistic.
    The truth is we get the leaders that we deserve.

  67. Yes. The TTFA. If your company is cash strapped and you see a line item for $400,000 that supposedly should be in your coffers but isn’t.
    You could justify a four month delay to file a report?
    Now my rabbit ears are raised! Lol. Bear in mind that surveillance tapes are generally erased within two months…

  68. Is that not the delay you speak of?

  69. My rabbit ears usually raise when people defend persons who are intimately involved. In this investigation all the parties need to be questioned. In terms of the time line this it is a fair question. However, if we assume we are dealing with “smart men” all sorts of reasons can be proffered for delay. Remember this is business. An accounting firm may delay, an email not seen, a man might allegedly take a 2 week vacation etc etc…

  70. Okay. I will wait for the convo to turn back to the TTFA…

  71. And the focus would naturally be on Mr Charles, after all he was the last person to be in possession of the now missing funds, having tossed it into the backseat of an awaiting vehicle (I love that part) as he indecated.

    Now once we have thoroughly processed that little gem we can then move on to where the ass the money went after, but for God’s sake allow me to process the part played by Mr Charles in order that when I do move on it would not be necessary for me to return to Mr Charles’ role for further consideration.

    The man tossed $400,000 of the taxpayer’s money into the backseat of an awaiting vehicle like it was a drug deal for Christ sake!

  72. Kendall Tull, my agitation is that I feel six months of research into the TTFA is being ignored to hone in on the decision-making of one side figure.
    If I say Charles is an alleged criminal, can we then discuss the TTFA’s behaviour in fixing international games and the managerial practices of its president instead?

  73. Christophe, I’m not looking for a conversation on whether Charles is innocent or guilty. You misread me. I don’t get why my comments are either curious or interesting either.
    Unless someone thinks I was in the parking lot with Charles.
    I had hoped to have a conversation about the TTFA’s behaviour for this Argentina game and before and after. And I thought there were several talking points in the two part series.
    My agitation is that I felt the six months of research into the TTFA is being ignored to hone in on the decision of one side figure.
    If I say Charles is an alleged criminal, can we then discuss the TTFA instead?

  74. The attempt to absolve Mr.Charles is even more curious and interesting.

  75. In my line of work we usually do not just “think or believe” unless we see it in writing or evidence of action….you repeating it, amending it , arranging it ,piggybacking on it still would make you liable…..just law 101 dude…but you can continue *shrug

  76. Cover of darkness or bright light I reiterate Mr. Charles has questions to answer

  77. Christophe Brathwaite you may think it was implied, but that is moot. (And you don’t have to care…that was implied.) Hadeed said the man was a crook…so who will be the first in line to get sued?
    The tenor of these statements of defence that are happily focusing the issue on only one man, the scapegoat, is troubling to say the least and a symptom of all that ails T&T. Pity…

  78. So let me see if I have this right.
    It hasn’t been confirmed that this matter has indeed been referred to the fraud squad.
    Am I right?

  79. I phoned a source and told him $400,000 was handed over on May 14 and 15 at the locations named. It was allegedly paid by David Atiba Charles to Darren Millien. The “crime” became known on May 30 and the TTFA supposedly submitted a report to the Fraud Squad thereafter.
    The report should have come from either Raymond Tim Kee or Sheldon Phillips…
    With that information a senior policeman contacted Fraud Squad. He told me there was no report. He said those reports are usually filed under the name of the accused.
    Now Tim Kee is saying that Sheldon Phillips and possibly Darren Millien submitted the report and they did it closer to August or September. But what did they file? What did they ask the police to look for exactly?
    I since gave the policeman Nissi Tours and the names of the people there. But I have not gotten an update.

  80. Lasana Liburd can you just phone up a source in the TTPS to check if the report has been submitted?

  81. Here’s the thing. Tim Kee passed over the Fraud Squad report to Sheldon Phillips. And Darren Millien! So you can say no report was made.
    Vernal, David will obviously have to prove his statement. What i’m challenging you on is the assertion that he just withdrew $400,000 and gave it away under the cover of darkness.
    In truth, there is alleged documentation of Millien asking for the money, signing for the money, Nissi Tours included the licensing fee on documentation to the TTFA and Sheldon Phillips never said a word about it and it is in their audited statements. They have receipts for it too.
    So, you don’t like the money exchange. Fine. Neither do I. But I think it is wrong to say he withdrew $400,000 cash and tossed it away. That is an unfair misrepresentation to me.

    • David Charles must have some real good blackmail pictures of you boy. You’s the same fella who making all sorts of insinuations and allegations about Phillips and Tim Kee… Phillips in particular, yet yuh bawling about “unfair misrepresentation”? The contract for the Argentina match was between the TTFA and World Eleven. The President of World Eleven (Guillermo Tofoni’s) signature and the company seal is on the contract… but you state unequivocally that it wasn’t World Eleven who put on the friendly, it was some anonymous company that Element Agency did business with. Did you try to contact World Eleven before you published that “unfair misrepresentation”? If the TTFA is lying about the report being made then why can’t you get someone on the record stating such? Why does a police “source” need to remain anonymous to simply state “we have no record of an inquiry being opened”? Are you really on a campaign to uncover the truth… or a campaign to discredit?

  82. they have done it before and they have the budget for it as well.

  83. I know they have to out source Adrian Clarke

  84. You implied it Trin Bagonian and inferences can be drawn enough to make a libelous claim is either you take heed or not I dont care

  85. Christophe Brathwaite the fraud squad does not have any accounting competence. Once a report is made there the matter is dead .

  86. If they say that the a Fraud Squad Report has been made then forensic accounting will be initiated. In addition, a finger-print expert must be retained to check the pattern and lineage of the receipts allegedly signed by Mr. Millian. Even if he faked or tried to mask his signature , the expert will be able to detect similarities of patterns and report accordingly to be submitted into evidence.

  87. Christophe Brathwaite please be very careful not to MISINTERPRET or draw lines that are not there…I never once said Mr. Millien had a history of stealing!

  88. I don’t think I’m being myopic in the least.
    Read everything I’ve said carefully.

  89. I also believe people should be careful when casting aspersions on persons i.e Trin Bagonian “history of stealing “…I am not sure if Mr. Millian has been charged ever in a court of law. It may be libelous.

  90. Trin Bagonian if you noticed I never once suggested the investigation focus on David Charles and ignore all the other possible factors. All I have repeatedly said is as the last person known and to have acknowledged being in possession of the now missing funds before it went missing, David Charles would be the obvious place to begin the investigation.

    Why am I getting the distinct impression that some of you guys are cutting track for the proverbial gouti tuh run?
    And by “proverbial gouti” I mean David Charles eh!

  91. Charles’s role can never be absolved from this Lasana.

  92. A Judge does not need video footage of a crime. Most cases have none. I’m sure if you think about it, you can come up with several ways that the court system can check to see which man is telling the truth.

  93. Gerald lol I dunno how credible he is to be honest. Did Tim Kee confirm Hadeed’s statement?

  94. Yes they did Christophe Brathwaite. And the Minister of Tourism said Raymond Tim Kee immediately promised to sack Darren Millien and initiate fraud investigations after he received the statement from Nissi Tours. But he didn’t.

  95. Vernal Damion Cadogan, I really think that is myopic. All the Fraud Squad has to do is check purchases or deposits in the days or week after Charles allegedly handed over the money for instance.
    Do you know the World Cup 2006 players did not have a written contract regarding Jack Warner’s offer for 50 percent of revenue to World Cup players?
    When Warner made the promise, the only player present was Kelvin Jack.
    Yet a London arbitrator plus a Trinidad High Court and Court of Appeal Judge all agreed with the players.
    So why are you all so stuck on Charles?

  96. What is the role of Nissi Tours in this? This is where the trail will begin. I understand they supplied an audited statement of the expenditure received by the MoT.

  97. Naturally? Yes, perhaps you’re right, Vernal Damion Cadogan. An incompetent investigator would start with that one person, and ignore the others who had a history of corruption issues…and all the evidence screaming at him.

  98. Yes and all I’m saying is that the natural place to start investigating the disappearance of this money would naturally be the last person in who’s possession it was known to be in.

  99. Yes, because he *surely* has a history of stealing…let’s begin there and forget that Mr. Half Million man ran away for a couple of months to Miami, right after the money went missing.
    Seriously, though…the best way to begin is to investigate it ALL, from Charles, to Millien to Tim Kee and Phillips…I would lock them all up and seize all documents!

  100. David Charles is simply where the investigation would best be commenced.

  101. Vernal Damion Cadogan I understand your right to rhetoric…but can you at least give the proper focus to ALL of the other issues involved in the case? The fact is they have signed receipts as well as a WhatsApp history of messages requesting the money…can this be faked? Also, the questions I have raised above, I will not repeat but those also bear consideration. Why, if the blame solely rests on David Charles, was he not prosecuted from the very beginning when the money was missing? How convenient to blame him so many months after the fact!

    • It’s VERY easy to fake WhatsApp messages. If you and I are friends and we are having a text conversation, all I have to do is to go into my Contacts and change your name to “Darreni Millien” and voila! “Darren Millien” and I are having a conversation. To authenticate the messages you have to look at the actual number from which it was sent. Did Lasana see the phone number and verify that it was Millien’s number… or did Charles just show him texts with somebody named “Darren Millien”? Even if the number is that of Millien, there is such a thing as “text message spoofing”, google it.

  102. But you guys do understand right that thus far there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Millien ever collected that money?
    What we do know however is that the last person known to have been in possession of the now missing sum prior to it going missing is David Charles, and according to him he tossed it into the back seat of an awaiting vehicle before it sped off!

  103. Millien’s track record speaks…but what does it say…? Nothing about him possessing an iota of integrity!
    “We were the ones that submitted …to the fraud squad? “So…essentially he is just making up stuff now? Why, if they had submitted stuff to the fraud squad, was the Tourism minister finding out about the missing money so late…and why did they look around at each other as if they did not know what happened? The man just looks like a crook, sorry to say…looks may be deceiving but in this case I think, it’s something else that is deceiving…

  104. “highest level of integrity”? Lol…Mr $2M flag!

  105. Where’s the petition…? Someone needs to start collecting signatures to show the government that we need to see some action on this to recover our taxpayer dollars. They’ve been robbed of our money and we want retribution!

  106. MILLIEN RESPONSE

    Another case of missing money continues to haunt the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association stemming from the team’s trip to Argentina in early June for an international friendly.

    An online report from website Wired 868 stated the TTFA allegedly failed to account for $400,000 sent from the Ministry of Tourism to the TTFA to assist with funding the trip.

    The report raises questions over the transactions performed by the TTFA’s Marketing Director Darren Millien in arranging the trip to Argentina.

    Contacted… Millien sort to-clarify the issue.

    http://www.tv6tnt.com/sevenpm-news/MILLIEN-RESPONSE-284114101.html

  107. Charles is either naive or a willing participant.

  108. Asking and receiving are two different things but we shall see. I still think David is a complete fool for doing what he did. No rational business runs that way. Would you have done what he did?

  109. You guys realise that administrators in this country and by extension the Caribbean(whether it be football ,cricket or whatever discipline) really do not care if they field a weakened team or not…it’s basically about having one to field period. The benefits (TO THEM) far outweigh the teams’ results or performances (while we the fans are made to suffer.) They genuinely do not care whether we lose or not. It is happening with the WICB and West Indies Cricket and has been happening with our Football for decades. Sorry to be this blunt(and no disrespect to the players and coaches) but they are merely pawns being used in the bigger sphere of things. Players,coaches and staff MUST firstly understand their value / worth and rise up and reject what is being meted out to them by poor administrators. And you know what also? If Darren Millien’s name has been associated with questionable activity wherever he has worked, and then a person seeks out his “expertise”, we should be paying very close attention to the person doing the seeking…because he / she could never be up to any good. Sheldon Phillips sought this guy out..his “go to guy” as he put it. Do the math!

  110. And yet time and time again the government are bailing out ttfa ……its a frigging joke

  111. Answers to two questions are still outstanding. 1. Why is Sheldon Phillips and Darren Millien still in the employ of TTFA? 2.Has this matter been reported to the Fraud Squad? 3. Why is Tim Kee still the Treasurer of the PNM and Mayor of POS? It should be quite apparent to all that “something is rotten in the State of Denmark.”

  112. There is a record of Millien allegedly asking for the money. Once verified, that helps.
    Two, if a Judge has to choose between the reputation of David and Millien I don’t think he needs be scared of that choice.

  113. Lasana – David is a fool and in court it would be his word against Tim Kee et al. He has no proof that wiuld withstand scrutiny and I fully blame him for helping this corruption and fraud take place.

    I mean really. Who in their right mind would walk around with $200k to meet someone in a car park for an official transaction? Sounds more like a drug deal than anything else.

    Nobody in their right mind would do that.

  114. Dem fellas learn well from the Master. More taxpayer’s money disappearing in the football sink hole and taxpayers have no say at all. According to the ‘old people’ “the wise will always live off the foolish”.

  115. Tim was Jack sidekick for years Sean Baseanoo!

  116. Jack gone tim come same damn thing but in tnt we like it so ent

  117. “Judge me on my history,” says the $2 million flag man.

  118. Sick to my stomach reading this. The signing of the documents with the swish, the carpark deals , the denials, This is not the first instance. These two are now SEASONED, they get away with murder. They just play the Shaggy line… “it wasn’t me” and that is good enough for Tim Kee and the rest of ppl who fail to investigate them. Just heartbreaking really. This is one uncovering of how many others that were kept hidden in the past.

  119. What do y’all expect of a Warner protege

  120. But David Robert Heath, where can we ever go as a country if we give up? Even battered spouses act eventually.

  121. Sorry Kath, I cannot get myself excited about these Trini travesties any more. I tried reading the article, but lost interest after, they tief, they tief and they tief. So what’s new.

  122. A couple things I didn’t understand:
    1) When the tour company defaulted, did the airline return any or all of the money paid?
    2) Was PS Boodram told the first two tranches would go towards paying the airline? If not then why would she have assumed they had enough. (Still it was her late payment of the third tranche that uncovered the fraud, so we have to be grateful.)

    A couple things I did not appreciate:
    1) Wired868 seemed to be going out of his way to excuse the …naivete? of Charles. Adding that he has received cash in bags before appears to be 868’s way of saying this would have been normal practice to him. it wasn’t. Surely the man had a phone… take a damn picture nah.
    2) How Hadeed allowed them to leave the meeting without calling the police? This article makes him out to be so concerned about protecting the nation’s money but you hear ah man get 400k in cash and yuh eh call de police right there and then?

    • Lasana Liburd

      Hello Nicholas. Good questions. The airline has given an option for a refund with a penalty or a voucher to be used for future travel on the airline. So that money was not entirely lost. It is up to the Ministry of Tourism to decide which is better.
      The other stuff really is open to speculation and opinion. I respect your right to have one.

  123. It may be the mistake that forces change….. Let’s see what happens…

  124. They should and you’re right.
    Lets hope Charles actions goes a long way toward cleaning up the TTFA.

  125. Tell me if this is possible. At the end of the tour, Nissi theoretically hands over audited statement to TTFA, its employer, including licensing fee.
    TTFA then erases licensing fee and writes it down as some other expense and then passes statement on to Govt. And no one is any the wiser.
    Some people are suggest collusion. I don’t think anything supports that. They made a mistake but, to me, tried to do the right thing.

  126. I’m saying that their response led to story and possible police action. Shouldn’t they be credited for that as much as they are being criticised for their error in judgment?

  127. So essentially they’re saying you’re doing a fine job?

  128. I was informed that a certain sport official is now saying that I am either (a) a UNC operative trying to make the PNM look bad with stories about its treasurer Raymond Tim Kee; or (b) trying to destabilise the TTFA so Brent Sancho and Kelvin Jack can take over.
    I’m not sure which suggestion is more ridiculous and desperate.

  129. No change will occur when there is no risk of prosecution, persecution or reprimand. They can theif with abandon and continue on to do more looting. That is the essence of “laissez-faire”

  130. So I guess corruption cannot be a big political issue in Trinidad again since there is the potential for both sides to do the same if controls and consequences are not in place .

  131. It has been six months since the crime though Michael Samuel. So we already have some idea as to how the TTFA intends to treat with it.
    And the story allows them to give their side along with the other parties named.

  132. I don’t believe in the Trinidadians justice system, particularly where white collar crime is concerned and I guess that is why I’m so frustrated with Charles.
    He was the last link in the chain before a chunk of taxpayer’s money disappeared into oblivion. We need to be each other’s keepers because there is no justice system in Trinidad to do it for us.

  133. I am not satisfied because handing it over to the fraud squad is the best way to bury the story . Nothing will come of it there . We have to pressure the government, to take real action in this case as well as life sport and Calder Hart . It’s all a PR game .

  134. Lasana and other caring football enthusiast we have to keep focus, Tim Kee has to take responsibility for this fiasco, he has to fire his two colleagues and then tender his resignation. For a certainty, there seem to be some sort of cover-up, themselves must not be allowed to investigate themselves.

  135. Dealing with the TTFA with cash is like leaving your bank card and pin for the bandits with a thank you note.

  136. We did get a view inside these sort of operations. But I hope the story eventually has more than entertainment value.
    I have to be an optimist to do my job properly and put in the hours I do.

  137. What would be the point of voting against corruption then? Might as well we stay home and let fate decide who rules.

  138. Nah. It cannot be. That is like saying “carry on TTFA”. We are lost as a people when we stop being angry with thieves and start mocking those who get robbed. What is left after that?
    Trinidad and Tobago’s football will crash within two years if fans decide to collective shrug their shoulders today and move on.
    And you would send a message to the next party to carry on as normal too.

  139. What I am grateful for is the glimpse this gives us into how this particular type of corruption works.

  140. The only reason I’m not focusing on Millen’s alleged criminality is because he works for the TTFA and that would be redundant.

  141. Charles deserved to get robbed? Does anyone deserves to get robbed?
    Even if Charles fell asleep in the middle of a fete with his wallet open, the person who took something out is still the criminal.
    So I just don’t understand the focus I guess.

  142. “Trinidad does not have a concept of rock bottom” I’ve said it over and over. However, let’s give all a chance to clear their names and we’ll see where the “fitball” stops bouncing.

  143. It’s almost as though Charles bought a box of air from Lefty for a nickel!

  144. No I don’t, but I do believe he’s criminally stupid (if there is such a thing).
    You know who does business in parking lots?
    Hookers, drug dealers and spies.
    You know why?
    Because each of those activities is illegal!

  145. Poor fella. He didn’t know that bribe payments are usually hid behind license, commissions, facilitation and administrative fees. You can always tell when an organization does not have a good accountant in board .

  146. Do you believe Charles stole the money and then created this entire story plus phone records and everything else though?
    If not, then remember to save some ire for the crooks.
    Find a whistleblower in the world who didn’t get closer to a crime than they should have. How would we ever get any one to come out and report crime if we focused on them and not the criminals?

    • Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with your comment these actions boundary on unbelievable. I would like to ask Mr. Charles when last he held $200K in cash? Also whether if it were his personal cash would he walk around with it and hand that over in a carpark? Maybe it’s me but I’m seeing blurred now after reading that.

  147. If I am doing business with the TTFA I want it to be I’m an office with a dozen sworn witnesses and CT cameras monitoring the proceedings.

  148. I’m certain $200,000.00 was deposited in a commercial or business acct. They don’t have the belly or trust to keep that cash on them.

  149. Charles is an adult, not a child. Yes he got conned but he is still responsible for the part he played. As of now the money trail ends at Charles.

  150. I say let us not shrug our shoulders and move on at this.
    Football needs football fans to do more than that. Supporting local football is not just buying a ticket and a replica.
    If football fans say “nothing can be done” and continue as normal, I can almost guarantee that Stephen Hart will not be head coach for another year, the women’s programme will crash right after this team has peaked and youth players will continue their recent trend of putting national service third after school and club.
    Mark my words.

  151. I think if all people asked to pay bribes in Trinidad and Tobago got signatures, put payments in audited statement and turned over all information to relevant authorities, our country would improve overnight.
    So I understand that Nissi made errors. Possibly big errors. But I disagree with the notion that they were the guilty party here.
    People get conned. It happens. Many times they could and should have done more to avoid it, but the guilty party is always the conman and not the victim.

  152. Na man somebody need to get lock up for this

  153. Millien?
    I ain’t buying it.
    but this story too jokey to be made up.
    where’s my Lipton?

  154. Charles really should not have decided to meet in such discrete locations :/

  155. If Tim Kee was Jack Warner’s ‘man of business’ for all those years, do we expect dishonest dealings from him all of a sudden? The PNM have a history of great men as party treasurers, Monteil & Tim Kee. As for the other two thieves, look out. They may yet get bigger work.

  156. Lasana , handing over a bag of cash in a car park to Millien should have been enough for Charles to raise questions . I hold him complicit in the transaction. That 400k probably was split 4 ways.

  157. I read until the end. Simply unbelievable, when will this madness stop?

  158. No legitimate business is ever conducted in parking lots. That guy Charles from Nissi Tours looked for what he got and now he is responsible for the missing funds!

  159. Charge them all..including Tim kee

  160. Dr. Keith; GET RID OF TIM KEE, NOW! he’s stinking up the party.

  161. I’m telling you straight……..ah rell like Gerry Hadeed! This is someone I feel I could sail rough seas with. I have no issues with his cussing because that is how he expresses himself.

  162. I know this is not the point of the article …..but ammm …..Hadeed is one uncouth Minister …

  163. i beg to differ here we have been expose to many times about bribes and corruption and i think charles should have had sense to know when a man tell u meet him out side movie town or in a car park to deal or deliver company business that should raise a red flag, it there not an office, where was the first meeting held not in the office, i think there is much more in this whole thing, and tim kee as the head need to do so explaining and stop beating around the bush

  164. Rhoda Bharath
    – Allyuh Treasurer…We Mayor…

  165. Same ole TTFA shit, Same ole SPORTTT shit, same ole WICB shit, same ole state run enterprise shit. Question is, what we doing about it? I for one, not going any more TTFA controlled games, the players not getting all the money anyway, and I not paying for questionable “administrative” costs. Sorry:((

    At least on Ariapita you know you sponsoring high-life private enterprise, and you can choose not to spend.

    P.S. Who pays 400k in envelopes, in car park meetings, based on a Whatsapp message, not even from your boss, and doesn’t suspect fraud?

  166. I suppose Charles and company learned too. They are young business persons and clearly never thought they were paying a bribe.

  167. It was extremely irresponsible to hand over all that cash on that manner however

  168. Wow wow and wow….I shudder to think that you are speaking about the same Darren Millien that I know!!! Let me just put this out there- if Dr Rowley and the PNM dont lose Tim Kee VERY soon, they will def be without my support in the next election…

  169. I agree. Told.someone that this morning. Somebody must make a jail.

  170. When someone goes to jail. Ever notice that there are few if any cases involving fraud or theft of our taxpayers money ? How come !

  171. Fired ? What about investigated, arrested then jailed ?

  172. I particularly loved the secret recording and the PS statements.

  173. Wish Mike Brown had whistleblowers like yours

  174. Bear in mind though that Nissi took receipts, put the payment in its audited statement, informed the Ministry of Tourism and the “bag man” turned up at the meeting with the Minister and pointed to the person he paid.

  175. Thanks to all my whistle blowers. There were honestly over a dozen of them for this two-part series. And I usually try never to write pieces this long as I know people have little time now.
    So thanks for those who read to the end.

  176. they are off springs of Jack, David Charles should be FIRED ASAP also. along with Tim Kee

  177. They to nasty deal with them Mr 868 Lasana Liburd…

  178. same ole nonsense …….. no wonder the TTFA is still broke ……. the whole chain of events is very disturbing …….. including the complete lack of accountability …..

  179. Sounds like a bad movie script to me and I am sorry but bag man sounds as though there was a cut involved. He needed to flip the script lol; didn’t mean to laugh.

  180. Millien trying to make a quick million of T&T taxpayer dollars….

  181. One word, “PUSSYFOOTING” with the foot ball

  182. David Charles has to be a jackass of highest order to have taken instructions to pay someone outside of the TTFA $400k in cash in unusual locations by Whatsapp messages from said individual.

  183. Lasana Liburd, great work. You might have started throwing the dirt in the grave of print media.

  184. My fb post yesterday……. “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” Nobel peace prize winner Elie Wiesel

  185. Totally agree Lasana, and I just wished more of us would stand up and not be afraid of victimisation.

    • Savitri, I concur with you on this, we really need to stand up and not be afraid of victimisation. I keep saying this all the time, when someone speaks out they become the problem not the solution. The general response is “why he/she doh hush dey mouth”. Everyone needs something it seems, so to say nothing appears to be safe…I dear say “APPEARS” to be safe.

  186. Why are we still pussy footing around these bungling thieves?

  187. Darren Millien should be FIRED ASAP

  188. The Bank of T&T is like a washing machine and ATM for all the recycled crooks

  189. The Bank of T&T is like a washing machine and ATM for recycled crooks

  190. I couldn’t read the entire thing….I had to stop reading after the man say it’s not his signature. I am pissed………this is absurd. Blatant stealing…what MADNESS is this.

  191. Is how dey so boldface wit dey thiefin!!

  192. Yeah this definitely sounds like Hadeed.

  193. You know Minister Hadeed has no cover for his mouth, Millien ain’t easy….

  194. Well for Tim Kee to be defending he boys like that he have to be in the cut too.

  195. Scotty Ranking

    What is most frightening here is that Half-Millien, with a square allegation of impropriety hanging over him, was allowed by Fill-ups to help spearhead the investigation into the same allegation. Madness! I hope that Hadeed and Boodram stick to their guns and see this saga out to the end. Theses crooks must get their just desserts – prison time!