Home / Live Wire / Sport Ministry allegedly handed taxpayers’ millions to murder accused

Sport Ministry allegedly handed taxpayers’ millions to murder accused

Buckle up, Trinidad and Tobago; it’s about to kick off now.

It turns out that, according to the Sunday Express, “Mr Big” was actually “Mr Big Mouth.”

Photo: Sport Minister Anil Roberts.
Photo: Sport Minister Anil Roberts.

When National Security Minister Gary Griffith spoke about declaring war on the criminal element, one always suspected that he would not have to look far for the most relevant targets. And so it proved.

You see while the People’s Partnership brayed about amber alerts and armoured SUVs, Anil Roberts’ Sport Ministry, according to investigative reporter Asha Javeed, allegedly took millions meant to stimulate grassroot sport and put them into the hands of shady figures; not least the controversial Jamaat al Muslimeen member Rajaee Ali—a man who was incarcerated on a murder charge when the PP took office in 2010 and who admitted he was questioned by police for the assassination of Dana Seetahal SC earlier this month.

By Griffith’s calculation, Ali pocketed as much as $1.5 million a month from the Life Sport programme for participants who do not exist. That is exclusive of catering contracts for feeding those ghosts, which, at a conservative estimate of $60 a day, can easily add up to another $1.3 million per month.

And this does not include the profit made off the participants who do turn up as well as the management contracts and so on; not to mention whatever income Ali otherwise enjoys when he is not working for the Sport Ministry. Presumably, Ali could employ his entire army if he had one and so chose; and they would all collect State cheques.

Photo: Tell Anil we want in.
Photo: Tell Anil we want in.

So, let us be clear: while the People’s Partnership Government steadfastly ignored not-so-subtle hints to improve the working conditions and salaries of its policemen, it has allowed a suspected gang member to possibly pocket upwards of $2.8 million per month not including his legitimate salary and profit.

I don’t think you’re hearing me: while the national football team youth coaches have gone two years without their $3,000 per month stipends, the under-15 “Soca Warriors”  forfeited a 2013 CONCACAF tournament due to a shortage of funds and parents had to dip in their own pockets to send teenaged national swimmers to the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai, the Sport Minister allegedly allowed a man who spent more than half of his adult life on a murder charge to bank a minimum of around $3 million a month.

One last time: the police service’s first choice candidate for Seetahal’s brazen murder could have financed the hit with taxpayers’ money courtesy of the Ministry of Sport.

It makes you miss the good old days when people thought then Minister Roger Boynes was a buffoon because he couldn’t tell the difference between waiting journalists and the 2006 World Cup players.

Last week, Roberts allegedly appeared in an amateur video with drugs and, possibly, prostitutes while wearing the Sport Ministry’s London Olympic 2012 shirt; and yet that was probably one of the least irresponsible things that “Minister Two Pull” did on the job.

Photo: Sport Minister Anil Roberts.
Photo: Sport Minister Anil Roberts.

It is almost breath-taking to consider how low the bar is now set in public service. Politicians don’t even have to show up for work in five years; all you have to do is not give millions to men “known to the police” and you are already a massive improvement.

And that brings us to “Captain Peacock”; the soldier who redefined the term “balls-ing up the job” while protecting Prime Minister Basdeo Panday’s family.

It is Griffith, the comical press conference tough guy, who must bring the Life Sport programme to heel now. His track record, to be blunt, does not inspire confidence.

And speaking of blunt; what about Honourable Minister Roberts?

Well, so far, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is refusing to sack him; so the nation’s sportsmen and women must remain trapped and molested in Room 201.

Photo: Sport Minister Anil Roberts (left) woos Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. There is clearly no accounting for taste.
Photo: Sport Minister Anil Roberts (left) woos Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
There is clearly no accounting for taste.

Mr Live Wire would like to suggest, at the very least, that the Prime Minister hires a foreign consultant to work closely with Roberts. And we can think of one eminently qualified young woman.

Can Jay-Z spare you this week, Solange?

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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166 comments

  1. Let’s fight 4 the rights of our country

  2. oh boi…. disqualified on d finish line…lol

  3. Reading this makes me so angry…

  4. What about Duprey? Where is he and why hasnt he been bought to justice for what he did? I pray we dont end up like Haiti 🙁

  5. T&T Politicians (ALL) BY the people FOR the people.
    Big corruption, some competence versus Some corruption, little competence. We like it so. Don’t change- be happy?

  6. It is only in the land of rumor and humor that these straight as a corkscrew politicians, can use tax payers money to fill their pockets, while accusing hard working honest people of being dishonest. He should be behind bars.

    • When we accelerated our declined to near unbelievable proportions.

    • I can’t even imagine how our national athletes must’ve felt about this. And folks are out there blasting them for underperforming. Under the circumstances, facing countries that have things down to such a science that they already have a good idea who’ll be representing them in 2020, I think they did an amazing job.

    • For years now, I have had national athletes from almost every sport complaining about it and they were very, very hurt. I would even say that they were bitter about it.
      Some sporting bodies were also very upset about it.

    • Understandably so. Especially given the feedback this year. And the administrators remain silent about the real problems while blasting people for criticizing the athletes and the wheel turns on.

    • Lasana bitter is still an understatement and not just some Federations….

    • Calisa that is not entirely true, but there are a few issues to consider. One is the backlash it may take for our Athletes and the other that with the current hostile environment against Admins a lot of them wish not to draw that anger towards them. I have always been very outspoken and will continue to do so, yet i also have to consider what may impact on the Athletes in my care…. Aside of the fact that it is not all as black and white as some people would like it to be…. i am more than happy to discus the ills of sport in Trinidad with anyone who wants to toss around ideas, but i have a real problem when quickly the stereotypes appear… (that is not only in discussions about sport btw…)

    • It’s great that you’re not one of the admins to which I’m referring, but that doesn’t negate the fact that, by and large, the culture of management/administration is to pass the buck and shirk responsibility for shortcomings. I’ve seen this across a range of fields, with the result that nothing actually improves and those responsible aren’t held accountable.

    • generally i agree with you, but that is not a sport specific problem as far as i see nor i it a systematic problem, because thhe same systems work maybe not perfect but reasonable well in other places, that is a problem that is being faced by Trinidad as a society…. I could give you plenty examples, but if i do i think i will find more messages in my inbox to stop bad-talking TNT and go back to my racist Germany….

    • I did say I’ve seen it across a range of fields. It is indeed a societal problem.

    • My favorite example: I am in the 10 and less items lane at Massey and Granny with grandson and grand daughter in front of me with full trolley, so i say, excuse me this is the ten Item lane and she pulls out her wallet gives grandson and Granddaughter $100 each and tells me: well, he buys ten items, she buys ten Items and i buy ten Items and laughs at me…. well, what can i say: Granny gave the grandchildren a good lecture in smart-man attitude…. sending them 10yeaar old of to the right start… unfortunately that seems to have become the rule…..

  7. Why mention these topics when no one will get arrested. Wasting air time

  8. I am a pacifist but this man’s special performance as a minister makes me think fondly of a whipping in the square. The opportunity costs are incalculable.

  9. What ever happened to this story???? Smh

  10. Why do you thing the past Admin is still a topic, because they re the main reason this govt is trying to get this country head above water, what happen it s the Facts do Jason Lara relax your self . Yes you want to define your party . But raise above that ,lets deal with the issue at hand how much could this Admin do, with out trying to source MONEY and that is what theyre trying to do Relax before your pressure goes up.

  11. Remind Paradath about this. Take several seats..

  12. That’s kamla boy , she love him bad

  13. How could you say he ignored the athletes??? He gave Walcott a javelin!! Yuh forget or what???!!!

  14. i cant understand alyuh the blasted people the country had ah election the pnm in power and ent doing nothing for the past 10mnths buh alyuh still blaming the former govt STOP SLEEPING AND WAKE UP PNM IN CHARGE NOW LETS DEAL WITH IT

  15. Even when we make noise they feed us some scraps to hush us until we make noise again . The time will come when our back will hit that wall and we will only be able to go forward . Wait and see !