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CONCACAF: Harrison directed money to Sancho while he was Sport Minister

CONCACAF has rubbished assertions that Brent Sancho was not Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister when his advisor, Kevin Harrison, directed the football confederation to wire Central FC funds to his personal bank account.

Photo: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) has a word with Sport Minister Brent Sancho during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia on August 26. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (left) has a word with Sport Minister Brent Sancho during the opening of the Irwin Park Sporting Complex in Siparia on August 26.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Harrison and Central suggested that Sancho’s bank details were sent to CONCACAF in December 2014 while he was still Central chairman. And a Trinidad Guardian article on the subject referred to the matter as a “Storm in a tea cup.”

However, a CONCACAF statement to Wired868 today confirmed that Harrison did not ask for a US$40,000 payment to be paid to Sancho until 16 June 2015, more than four months after Kamla Persad-Bissessar appointed him as Sport Minister.

The CONCACAF money was supposed to help Central with expenses related to their Champions League away fixture against LA Galaxy.

“At the start of each CONCACAF Champions League, CONCACAF asks participating clubs to submit a wide variety of information,” stated the CONCACAF press office, “including a standard form containing the club’s banking information for the deposit of the team travel allowance per away game.

“On June 16, 2015, CONCACAF received a completed form from Mr Kevin Harrison, Operations Director at Central FC, via the Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Latoya Dacosta. The information received was used to transfer the first payment of funds to Central FC on July 27, 2015.”

Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC players (from left) Elton John, Darren Mitchell, Kaydion Gabriel, Uriah Bentick, Jason Marcano, Leston Paul, Ataulla Guerra and Akeem Benjamin celebrate during their penalty shoot out win over Montego Bay United in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The timeline was curious since CONCACAF’s deadline to Champions League clubs to provide bank details was 28 May to 12 June 2015.

Harrison, Sancho and Central FC, which is run by SIS officials Daren Mohamdally and Ronald Ramlogan, have given two conflicting accounts as to how the CONCACAF money ended in the Sport Minister’s bank account.

In one version, Central claimed that Sancho’s bank details were sent in December 2014 while he was still club chairman. In another, Harrison said the club did not have a US bank account and was rushed to get details to CONCACAF in time.

But, according to CONCACAF, the “Couva Sharks” had two weeks to provide bank details. And Harrison took an extra week on top of that before, in June 2015, he still opted to send Sancho’s bank details to the football body.

In the past seven days, Harrison sent a thread of emails to the Guardian Newspaper and Wired868 with the headline: “Confirmation of CONCACAF error.”

Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy. Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left). (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorer Jean-Luc Rochford (front) and his teammates celebrate with the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship trophy.
Looking on is then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (top left).
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The emails, which were sent between July 27 and August 3, showed Central FC manager Jamie Aleong-Charles’ attempts to change the bank details that Harrison lodged with CONCACAF.

The Guardian, on the strength of Harrison’s emails, claimed that the matter was “an apparent mix-up.”

Wired868 asked Harrison to send his emailed request for funds from CONCACAF to prove it occurred before Sancho became Sport Minister. The Advisor to the Sport Minister was also asked to provide the date that CONCACAF money hit Sancho’s account.

He did neither.

“What email to CONCACAF?” replied Harrison. “This email (from Aleong-Charles) shows Central FC submitting their correct bank details so that they could receive their funds…”

CONCACAF clarified in a written statement that Central only provided an alternate bank account after the money had already hit Sancho’s account.

Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho claimed he cut off all association after his ministerial appointment on 2 February 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Sport Minister Brent Sancho claimed he cut off all association after his ministerial appointment on 2 February 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Later that same day (on July 27), Jamie Aleong-Charles, a manager in Central FC’s Administration Department, contacted CONCACAF to say that Central FC wanted to change the bank account information for the transfer of funds,” stated CONCACAF, “and that new account information would be provided to CONCACAF on July 28, 2015.

“CONCACAF received the new bank account information on July 28, 2015. CONCACAF made the second payment to Central FC’s new bank account on August 10, 2015.”

Wired868 asked Harrison whether he had wilfully tried to mislead the press on the timeline of events by giving wrong dates and a partial email trail to reporters. He did not comment up to the time of publication.

The CONCACAF statement arguably suggests a pattern of behaviour by Sancho and Harrison in which they apparently sought to divert money due to Central to the personal accounts of one or both of the men without any obvious approval by their employers.

British football agent Steve Davies confirmed this week that an email from Harrison, in August 2014, asked him to slip in “a personal payment” for the two Ministry of Sport officials during the transfer of Trinidad and Tobago internationals Rundell Winchester and Willis Plaza to CS Visé in August 2014.

Photo: Central FC striker Willis Plaza (left) celebrates after scoring the decisive goal against North East Stars in the 2014/15 Pro League season. Looking on are Stars goalkeeper Cleon John (centre) and Keryn Navarro. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC striker Willis Plaza (left) celebrates after scoring the decisive goal against North East Stars in the 2014/15 Pro League season.
Looking on are Stars goalkeeper Cleon John (centre) and Keryn Navarro.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“Could you indicate when you would be able to slip in the personal payment?” he asked Davies, in an email published on Wired868. “Probably the best payment method would be via Western Union (obviously the fees would be deducted from the initial sum). If possible, send two payments, 50% to Brent Sancho and 50% to Kevin Harrison.”

Davies said he considered the request to be illegal. And Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips confirmed that the local football body was “very, very concerned” about the email and was monitoring the situation.

CONCACAF has also pointed the finger at Harrison in relation to the diversion of funds to Sancho’s bank account.

Photo: SWO member and then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams. Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: SWO member and then Central FC operations director Kevin Harrison (right) presents a $12,000 cheque to Dion Sosa, the local manager for then ailing player Akeem Adams.
Adams died on 30 December 2013 after failing to recover from a heart attack.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

CONCACAF Timeline

June 16: CONCACAF received Central FC bank account information from Kevin Harrison of Central FC via Latoya Dacosta of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) naming Brent Sancho as the beneficiary.

July 27: First payment of US$40K was sent to Central FC with banking information provided by Central FC via CFU on June 16.

July 27: Central FC’s Jamie Aleong-Charles notified CONCACAF that the club would like to change the bank account information it had on file with CONCACAF.

July 28: E-mail sent from Central FC to CONCACAF with updated banking information with club name as beneficiary

August 10: Second payment of US$40K was sent to Central FC with updated banking information provided by Central FC on July 28 with club name as beneficiary.

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.

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103 comments

  1. My friend you is not a bandit but come out of that party please

  2. The issue should never be in whose account the money went, but where the money ended up. As long as the money reached the intended recipient, there should be no problem. There is a problem when money is sent for haiti but ended up inones personal account and used for another purpose.

  3. Is he another common crook who has found a home with Kamlababa and her many thieves?

  4. Y dat boi lokin lik he crying so?

  5. You know what these dummies don’t realize any (alleged) illegal activities that pass thru a US bank can be investigated and charges from the US can happen if they are found guilty and Brentos doesn’t have the resources that Jack has to fight extradition if it comes to that.

  6. and it speaks to integrity ———— where iz d Grande stadium sod turning ceremony?? ——————- lies before he start

  7. Anyone seeking to do what is right and is organizationally astute and diligent, compliant and on task, would have avoided all the seeming and spoken-about uncertainties that we are addressing here. My conclusion…… wrong was done, and not to be termed….alleged. Good qualified people know how to avoid these occurrences.

  8. This foolish talk that you all have found yourself has already been cleared up by the organization……they have stated that they did not take the steps to inform CONCACAF that he had already left the club and the preparation monies were sent to his account……….when it was found out what had happened it was transferred to the relevant account…….what you should be doing at this time is to ask Marlene McDonnel what did she do with the kallabar foundation money that that was to build Lavantille communiyt Centre

  9. Sancho boy a vote for de UNC is a vote for another gun on de street sports minsters deals wit gangsters people don’t forget dat

  10. Brent Sancho has found his niche. Corbeaux doh lime with pigeon.

  11. Greer I didn’t say whether he knew or didn’t know, I was responding to Mervyn informing him of the requirements of making a deposit. This happens every day with charitable organizations, they don’t know everyone who deposits in their account.

  12. Oh he knew Wahid Mohammed. He also took his own sweet time to transfer it out

  13. He was being trained by sis. His former employers Imagine people voting for that Are we for real

  14. So basically he score ah own goal on his country twice.

  15. The requirement for making a deposit into any bank account is the account number. So if someone knows my account number they can make deposits without my knowledge. BUT Also when deposits over a certain amount is being made there has to be a justification of where the funds came from

  16. Why should he be any different than the others?

  17. Why should he be any different than the others?

  18. All birds of a feather…….a rose by any other name is still a rose. These people have a propensity to attract the ‘right’ ones who are of the same head.

  19. And the plot thickens oh Brent not elected yet and already caught with your hand in the till hmmm

  20. Trinis really have foggy memory yes

  21. All politicians thief whether is red yellow or green

  22. Uncle Earl i dont think he’s working for the club eh

  23. BIRDS OF A FEATHER FL….K TOGETHER.

  24. SHAME ON YOU BRENT SANCHO AND KEVIN HARRISON, YOU BOTH GOT CAUGHT WITH YOUR “”HANDS IN THE POT”

  25. Nobody can direct any funds to my bank account without my KNOWLEDGE AND AUTHORITY,. First they have to know my bankers, then my account number, unless of course Kevin Harrison had all that information…BRENTT SANCHO WE ARE NOW IN 2015 AND THERE ARE LOT OF PEOPLE SMARTER SND MORE EDUCATED THAN YOU, SO COME AGAIN, they tried to teach you how corruption works but you failed the test miserably.

  26. Sancho well qualified to be in the UNC party because since he became minister with them, he and all join the thiefing spree! Imagine he had funds by his request directed to his personal account instead of the club’s business account. He learning real fast from the rest of the PP/UNC and he in sex scandal too?? He is a perfect fit for that corrupt unethical party!!

  27. CORRUPTION DECEPTION AND LIES ARE THE WAY OF LIFE WITH DUNCe/PP MISFITS.

  28. How did they get his personal bank account number?

  29. Apparently Sanko was well qualified to be in the UNC.

  30. Ent government ministers supposed to report their sources of income to the Integrity Commission, if so is that body investigating this matter yet and if not why?

  31. Hahahaha and most likely the corrupted sports minister will also be returning to the club when the corrupted UNC government looses the election on Monday unless he and his advisor have other plans to start another professional team in our sweet country Them really good yes.

  32. Was waiting for your usual ending Earl Mango Pierre

  33. And the plot thickens , greed knows no bounds

  34. A thief don’t like to see a next thief with a bag..

  35. Of course the advisor is still working for the club and the WPL and organizing other things with respect to the football in our sweet country . Them really good yes.

  36. Why does Concacaf continue to put funds into personal accounts without verifying where the money goes? On another note apart from the declaring to the Integrity Commission, could this mean tax evasion or tax fraud under Uncle Sam’s nose?

    • Scotty Ranking

      To be fair,CONCACAF is not a financial institution with powers to investigate the type of account that a team representative provides for payment of funds.. If you wish to donate to CRY, FEEL or some NGO and they give you a bank account number to deposit your donations, can you ask the bank what type of account it is?

  37. Scotty Ranking

    this situation is getting progressively ‘woreserer’ for Sancho-Sanko-Banko and Harrison. No integrity whatsoever. And notice Sancho still kept nearly US $1000 from ‘correcting’ the transaction.

    Again, when men like Tim Kee-Kee-Kee and Fillups can ascend the moral high ground while Sancho cannot even navigate his way up an anthill, things are quite bad indeed!

  38. …You’re asking a lot of your “colleagues” in the main stream media Lasana…

  39. How much he get for selling us out in the WC in Germany?

  40. Was the advisor to the Minister still working for the Club?

  41. As I said. When the dust settles, Harrison will take the fall and Skanko aka Banko or ole ho will walk away like he was blind sided

  42. own goal sanko, learn from d best

  43. I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious for a Monday to come.

    It’s just tooooo much corruption and blatant BS that surfacing day after day.

  44. follow the 32 mil dollar man and his line minister on sportforlife

  45. I dunno what to say nah. How could an entire administration be scamps and smartmen? It just isn’t possible.

  46. Lasana, this story makes clear to me why the Express put up a paywall; it’s to protect the reputation of their reporters/journalists who are coming a distant third in the straight race between you and them.
    As for the Guardian, they have had a paywall for some time now, no? I shall do a little research to establish when that happened in relation to the start-up of Wired868.
    In the meantime, I think you can feel duly proud of the work you are doing and, as William Ross points out, clearly deserving of the many kudos you consistently get among those who follow the news in a serious, consistent way.

  47. He just come and he get in the bacchanal already? Another Jack in the pack.

  48. Hmmm. Birds of a feather flock together. No wonder UNC wanted him

  49. Moonilal is calling on Faris to step down and threatening to file a petition of an address. What say you now Mr. Moonilal?

  50. Lasana the truth was out there and you found it! We can only guess at Sancho’s behaviour when he has access to real money! Lifesport will seem like small change! This is the character of the man, Anil Roberts with dreadlocks! We have a government of lowlife, irredeemably corrupt individuals who are only interested in finding ways to enrich themselves. We are on the verge of giving these people the opportunity to continue to rape and pillage this country for 5 more years? How blind can we be? How timid? Are we nothing but idiots and fools? Maybe it’s true what I have heard some say, that we have to go through the Guyanese experience before we can come to appreciate the endgame? Everything this government has touched has been debased and corrupted, every office and institution has been tainted. We are a country of ignorant, corrupt and backward people, for the most part, money and our so-called education system isn’t going to change that, in fact it is the very means by which we maintain the status quo. Pity the children, it is they who will suffer in the end.

  51. Based on these two scandals, Sanko now qualifies in full for membership of the UNC Gang. It was merely an Initiation requirement, folks.

  52. Good job as always Lasana.

  53. No Leslie Noel. No confirmation of that. Would SIS contradict a UNC candidate?
    When you look at Harrison’s statements before, some tension obviously existed between the club and Harrison.
    But that appeared to disappear (publicly) as soon as it began to affect badly on his position as a UNC candidate.

  54. Davies said he considered the request to be illegal. And Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips confirmed that the local football body was “very, very concerned” about the email and was monitoring the situation. ” ……. Who guarding the guards?…….. Sheldon Phillips himself….. what a joke.

  55. Did anyone confirm full repayment of said funds?

  56. Call Coonilal and ask him to withdraw Brent Sanko as a candidate. Let the old smartman demonstrate he is not all hot air and stands by the principles and standards he sets for others. This is Coonilal’s litmus test..Two strikes..this and the alleged tax evasion over the Range Rover with a payment of what $100,000.00 fine? What a hot mess for a candidate who would be interacting with the youths..hmmmm…what a society/nation we are going to be building..

  57. “Wired868 asked Harrison whether he had wilfully tried to mislead the press on the timeline of events by giving wrong dates and a partial email trail to reporters. He did not comment up to the time of publication.”

    Haha Lasana Liburd you a gangster journalist, love it!

  58. Bacchanal pon bacchanal pon bacchanal.

  59. Okay. So with this Concacaf story, I contacted Central FC, Concacaf, another Champions League club for information on how payments were made, a CFU official as well as Kevin Harrison and Brent Sancho themselves.
    Can the Trinidad Guardian explain how thorough its own checks were when they referred to this as “a storm in a teacup”?
    The media has got to be more thorough and not just write down what one party tells them. They owe better to readers if they want to continue to be the place people go to for news.

    • Maybe like you Rhondor Dowlat doesn’t see herself as having an “obligation to be impartial.”

    • Scotty Ranking

      Lasana, even the manner of repayment was suspicious. I am on record as saying that Sancho should have sent the funds back to CONCACAF (with some agreement over out-of-pocket fees incurred) and let them reissue a payment to the correct recipient. Anything else moves the matter from the penumbra of dubious practice to the full umbra of skulduggery
      Sanko, as righteous as you and your teammates were in the 2006 World Cup fiasco with Jack Warner and the (then) TTFF, with this nonsense you have squandered whatever little goodwill you had remaining from that. As Dr Rowley once said, you have pole-vaulted over your principles in a most horrid and shameful manner!

  60. “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”. This should be the motto for this government cause they haven’t learn anything. 3 days to elections and they more tie up than crab in the market.

  61. Early morning dose of Banco?