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Fixing T&T: Police should investigate Marlene for fraud; Rowley must act now

Fixin’ T&T, a civic watchdog group, has reiterated calls for Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to immediately sack Housing Minister Marlene Mc Donald and for a police investigation to be launched into her role with the Calabar Foundation.

The following is the release from Fixin’ T&T:

Photo: Housing Minister Marlene McDonald. (Copyright Andy Hypolite/Trinidad Guardian)
Photo: Housing Minister Marlene McDonald.
(Copyright Andy Hypolite/Trinidad Guardian)

Fixin’ T&T maintains that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must immediately remove Ms Marlene McDonald from any and all Ministerial and Cabinet positions in the face of the mountain of evidence before him on this and other matters allegedly involving the Housing Minister.

It is the only action consistent with his campaign promises of returning morality and decency to public office and restoring confidence in same.

(Letter to acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams)

Dear Mr Williams,

1.    Marlene McDonald was the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs up to May 24, 2010.

2.    Michael Carew has been described by Ms McDonald as someone with whom she had a personal relationship and by many others as her common-law husband.

3.    Cheques from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs were made and paid out to the Calabar Foundation in May 2010.

4.    Michael Carew was a Director of the Calabar Foundation.

Photo: Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams (left) shakes hands with US Embassy Security Policy and Assistance Coordinator, Juanita Aguirre, at the handing over ceremony of 18 forensic photography kits to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service by the US. (Courtesy US Embassy)
Photo: Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams (left) shakes hands with US Embassy Security Policy and Assistance Coordinator, Juanita Aguirre, at the handing over ceremony of 18 forensic photography kits to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service by the US.
(Courtesy US Embassy)

We write to request that a criminal investigation be launched by the Police into the setting up and operations (financial and otherwise) of the Calabar Foundation to determine whether:

·         There has been any fraud or misrepresentation perpetrated.

·         There was any misbehaviour in public office by then Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs and current Housing Minister, the Honourable Marlene McDonald.

The Calabar Foundation was registered on 24 August 2010. Its registered address is 10 Ariapita Road, St Ann’s.  The Directors are:

1.       Michael Carew of 10 Ariapita Road, St Ann’s.

2.       Victor Mc Eachrane of 10 Canna Drive La Florissante Gardens D’Abadie.

3.       Lennox Carew of 46 Chrysanthemum Drive, Morvant.

The Secretary of the Calabar Foundation is Michael Carew.

Photo: Housing Minister Marlene McDonald (left) during her prior stint in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs. (Copyright news.gov.tt)
Photo: Housing Minister Marlene McDonald (left) during her prior stint in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs.
(Copyright news.gov.tt)

Monies in the sums of TT$375,000 and TT$200,000, allegedly approved by Ms McDonald, were subsequently paid to the Calabar Foundation via cheques numbered P 00236829 and P 00236828 respectively on 12 May 2010.

According to the documents attached which were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and the Registrar General’s Office:

1.       Applications for funding was made by the Calabar Foundation on 27 April 2010 and 4 May 2010.

2.       Approval for both was granted on 10 May 2010 by then Minister Marlene McDonald.

3.       The cheques were issued on 12 May 2010.

4.       The cheques were collected on 12 May 2010.

5.       The application for the name Calabar Foundation was made on 14 July 2010.

6.        The stamp of the Registrar General’s Office on the Calabar Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation is dated August 24, 2010.

7.       Both cheques were deposited on September 9, 2010.

Photo: President Anthony Carmona (right) swears in Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. (Copyright Reuters)
Photo: President Anthony Carmona (right) swears in Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
(Copyright Reuters)

No one has been able to verify the existence of the Calabar Foundation nor have we been able to determine any work conducted for the funds received.

We trust that our Police Service can thoroughly, transparently and efficiently conduct this investigation to bring it to an expeditious conclusion.

Sincerely,

Kirk Waithe

Cc:

·         Mr Stephen Williams – Ag Commissioner of Police

·         Mr Roger Gaspard SC – Director of Public Prosecutions

·         The Honourable Ms Marlene McDonald – Minister of Housing

·         Media

AboutFixin TT

Fixin TT
Fixin T&T's mission is the realization of good governance to achieve healthy, holistic, and fulfilling lifestyles for all citizens through the study, promotion, and furtherance of strong democratic institutions; sound infrastructure; integrity in public and corporate affairs; and a culture of respect by all for the laws and regulations of the country to create a safe, secure, efficient and productive Trinidad & Tobago.

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47 comments

  1. After the victory with the mayor they smell blood , all they have to do is keep poking .

  2. Lasana, with reference to choosing Ancil Antoine, you are asking answers. Who would you choose to ‘put dong a wok’ on somebody, a shotta or a choir boy?

    Your choice of persons reflects your intentions. Do you think Mc Doogle was placed there by chance, given her history?

    Why was Dr. Rowley placed in charge of NHA in a past Administration? He developed a reputation for being good at something, therefore he sees the talent in persons.

  3. Kurt you spend yuh own money do the work hand over to police …and things will happen

  4. Seems like the wicked UNC thieves have been pardoned.

  5. Is he wrong to raise this issue? Well done FixinT&T

  6. I am fed up with Fixing T&T trying to remain relevant.
    If they really want to do something sensible, then they should call for Kamla to resign as opposition leader.
    Billions of taxpayers’ dollars disappeared under her watch as PM and she is still in our face instead of in jail.

  7. Fixing T&T is trying to remain relevant.

  8. Calabash foundation scandal is what she should be dismissed for

  9. They fixed on the idea, I guess. So much to investigate.

  10. Sarah-Ann Brand no one us investigating Adrian Ckarke. no one.

  11. When fixing T&t investigate a man who is feeding his organization with information FOR CYBER BULLYING AND THREATENING A PERSON on FB then Marlene must go..

  12. Just take ah look at me now anybody no that song

  13. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end…

    HDC fraud matter ‘won’t be pursued’*
    ‘Case not strong’
    Published on Mar 1, 2016, 8:45 pm AST
    By Anna Ramdass
    anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com
    CommentsArticle
    Share:FacebookTwitter

    Although hundreds of thousands of dollars were allegedly swindled from people in a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) scheme, it appears no one will be brought to justice.
    The Express was informed yesterday that a former HDC official and her boyfriend were both released from police custody and will not face charges, even after being caught with the money in a bank account.
    Last Tuesday, at 3 a.m., police swooped down on the Curepe home of the HDC official and arrested the couple. They were detained in Port of Spain, where they were both questioned for nearly two days.
    The HDC official’s arrest stemmed from a two-year investigation conducted by the Fraud Squad.
    In 2014, HDC’s then-managing director, Jearlean John, made an official request to the Fraud Squad to investigate claims of corruption after it was revealed people paid money to the HDC official with the hope of recei­ving a house.

    • We don’t see corruption as a criminal activity but a political one. We view it as a political issue when it should be seen as a crime.

      That is why the outcry is not based on the crime but on the Party under which the act took place.

    • Its one thing to know someone did wrong but its another thing to prove it in a court of law…”the law is an ass”

    • I wonder about political will to root out wrongdoing in the first place. And we all know that the police service is not an independent body.
      When from all the possibilities, the Prime Minister names someone with a spotty record in housing as his Housing Minister, how can I take him seriously?
      Why not give Ancil Antoine that post, for instance?

    • I must admit that when I heard she was named a minister it caused me some serious concerns

    • Lyndon Pk Williams I wonder if anyone would be willing to come forward and say the paid to get a house-up to going to court to guve evidence of such. It might be too much of a nuisance. Moreso if since then they received one, questions would naturally arise. While probably a natural suggestion might be to have all these persons fall under the IC so they have to declare assets, that does not make practical sense. We need to strengthen BIR’s reach, resources and mandate instead.

    • Lasana Liburd like allyuh want to kill Ancil Antoine? All this ‘gift’ offering of ALL things problematic to him cannot be a good thing. De man has a gorgeous wife to live for, eh! Share those ‘gifts’ elsewhere to other ‘deserving’ folk. Lef meh boss alone, please, nah. And Nerisha Mohammed, you encouraging Lasana! Et tu? LOL.

    • Rhona Rogers…nah…not encouraging him necessarily re: ancil antoine…just agreeing with the part about putting back the minister there lol.

    • Nerisha Mohammed Oh ho! Then my fraternal sister, all is forgiven. LOL.

    • Lol. Rhona, I called one name I feel fairly certain that I can trust! 🙂

    • Leave Antoine where he is . That is my Line Minister.

  14. Camille Robinson Regis deposits $93K in FCB.
    Says it is her paycheck because apparently banks don’t do wiretransfers or Managers cheques anymore, so you have to walk with large sums of cash.

    CRR returns from a trip ‘off shore’ then calls a press meeting via her staff and holds meeting in Govt building – using State resources for private use….no one barks.

    CRR, why did you go ‘off shore’ for a couple of days just after having large sums of cash? Did you win the money from gambling? Was it a ‘gift’ or you ‘earned’ it? Why ‘off shore’?

    just asking…

  15. Ironically, Dr. Rowley is meeting with persons belonging to the Anti-Corruption Forum. In fact, she was schedule to speak the ills of corruption….my goodness, this is a joke.

    Malcolm Jones cost the country over 1.2 billion over a failed project – but he did nothing wrong.
    Malcolm Jones is place in a Rowley appointed Committee to direct Energy Policy.
    AG Al Rawi says he cannot find the documents.

    Lawyer for State states that he sent the docs.

    AG keeps on prosecuting lawyer despite said lawyer asking several times to be allowed to pass the brief.
    AG does not respond to Lawyer.
    After the case has been dropped, AG blames the lawyer…..very Sinister.

    State pays 3 million in legal fees to a former PNM AG and a current Minister.

    Wasn’t there a big furore when the PP Govt was seen as favouring Ish and Steve? Now this and no outcry?!! Wow!

  16. WHAAAAAAATT!!!

    So she gave her boo money via an Org that legally – at the time – did not exist for work unknown. Why is there a surprise? Wasn’t she the Mini of Community Development that was in charge of the secret scholarships, where handpicked PNMites were given funding, and persons names were on the list as having received funds but they actually didn’t?

    Where is the 3 million dollar Community centre she built? Was it built with ‘ Klingon cloaking technology? It seems invisible. Perhaps she deposited the money by Patraj Roti shop. Shouldn’t Patraj report to the FIU when someone is buying over a certain number of rotis per week?

    BTW, how much money was given to Carew’s Organisation? Why is Carew invisible as well? I haven’t seen any pic of him in the Newspapers, isn’t that strange?

  17. Police should probe Fixing T&T

  18. We went off on a huge hoopla about the Mayor for his slip of the tongue, even the PM badgered him to resign, but for actual wrongdoing there is a hush. Where are the noisy people now? Or can someone please justify her actions!!!

    • If the PNM chose to bring her back with all this hanging over her head, the Minister chooses not to resign, then I agree with Fixing TnT to send a letter with supporting documents to the Fraud Squad. Should have also sent a letter to the Auditor General and Integrity Commission to see if the PS as the Accounting Officer erred by not doing proper diligence on the request. From the timeline, that request was facilitated rather expeditiously too. At least in this way, if her name is cleared, it would put the matter to rest.

    • Nerisha, the IC has been investigating this since 2014. Fixin T&T also sent a copy to them again

    • With all due respect to that body, the only name that comes to mind to get charged was Panday. Seems like acting with integrity is not the criteria used to determine whether a matter can move forward. It also seems integrity is entirely subjective so that could be why we do not have more matters pursued.

    • There is talk that one of the “investigators” has applied for a HDC house…lol

    • Dr. Rowley did not badger the former Mayor to leave, in fact he excused his words as “tongue in cheek.” It was only when the public outcry continued that Dr. Rowley speak against it.

      His modus operandi is to defend first, and then – if the pressure is too much – change sides.

    • Long before that the IC investigated and she was cleared of some of what he is banging on about. Maybe he has something new now i do not know as I refuse to read his postings for about eighteen months now. Three Canal and himself are fixing T&T correct me if I am wrong,

  19. Ok so I have a stupid question to ask. Didn’t the integrity commission already investigated this same matter and cleared the minister of any wrongdoing?