How the West was won: Live Wire on Chaguaramas controversy; and Faris’ Enquiry into Enquiry!

Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi looks set to create a new milestone for State idiocracy, wastage of funds and donkey logic, after suggesting that the Government is considering launching a Commission of Enquiry into a Commission of Enquiry.

Trinidad and Tobago, we ent going to hell again. We reach!

Photo: PNM Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. (Copyright Elections.TT)
Photo: PNM Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
(Copyright Elections.TT)

Al-Rawi, via press release, said a preliminary legal opinion by Fyard Hosein SC suggested that the Las Alturas Commission of Enquiry was flawed, politically biased and “very well subject to judicial review”. So, brace yourself for a PNM witch hunt into a UNC witch hunt into a PNM project.

Won’t it be cheaper to just throw Dr Keithos and Tantee Kams in a river and see who sinks or floats?

Incidentally, the cost to construct the two disastrous Las Alturas towers was TT$26 million. And the cost of the enquiry into the towers? Forty million TT dollars and rising.

Mr Live Wire hopes the acting Police Commissioner withdrew his detectives from the various ‘hot spots’ today and sent them to gather information at the opening of the Law Term instead.

Who else can’t wait to hear Finance Minister Colm Imbert explain why the Government can’t afford to keep offering subsidies to the public?! But before you listen to Imbert’s tidings of joy, do read Asha Javeed’s exclusive reports on the Chaguaramas Development Authority’s expensive carve-up of the peninsula in the Trinidad Express.

Let’s just say that tales of how the West was won are bedtime stories compared to the alleged looting of these millionaire Trinidadian cowboys.

Photo: Anybody have Waze?
Photo: Anybody have Waze?

Junior Sammy—a name seen only in seven to nine figure deals involving taxpayers’ money and never in million dollar donations to sport, culture or charity—got a two-year lease for a parcel of land in Covinge, Tucker Valley from the People’s Partnership Government on 6 September 2015, just the day before then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was voted out of office.

So far, so dodgy.

The area of land was 21.2366 hectares or roughly a quarter the size of the Queen’s Park Savannah. The rent, according to the Trinidad Express, was TT$100 per month.

Let me say that again. In a country where parking your vehicle on a five-metre spot at the wrong time of day can get you an immediate fine of TT$600, Sammy can rent an area of land that is the size of 35 football fields for the cost of two regular Movie Town tickets—not 3D, eh!

I don’t feel allyuh hearing mih… Former CDA chairman Daniel Solomon—who also chaired the Legal and Leasing Committee—and CEO Jocelyn Hargreaves recommended that Sammy, a f*%king billionaire, pays the State the price of two salads at Wendy’s OR one third the cost of a Lasco fan to rent an area wide enough to hold the United States White House, land and all, more than twice!

Of course, Sammy isn’t the only big boy to strike it rich in the wild, wild west. Not when Solomon was handing over State land to local millionaires like a bartender passing out rum and coke at a free drinks party.

Photo: You get land! Your get land! You get land... Former CDA chairman Daniel Solomon.
Photo: You get land! You get land! You get land…
Former CDA chairman Daniel Solomon.

The list of directors granted ‘piper prices’ for State lands in Chaguaramas include: Anthony and Michael Aboud, George Anthony Tannous, Manas Tannous, Joe Tannous, Nicholas Tannous, ex-PNM National Security Minister Howard Chin Lee and Ann Chin Lee, Christopher Louis Aleong, Andrew Aleong, David Aleong, George Aleong and Kenneth Aleong, Raymond Habib, Ryan and Christopher Ramhit, John Aboud and Richard Smith.

Joseph Rahael might be the Chaguaramas godfather as he is a director of three companies—Fouraime, Chexobox Limited and Point to Point—with projects in the area. Rahael, incidentally, is the son of former PNM Minister of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources, John Rahael.

Although that isn’t as ironic as the fact that John Aboud was chairman of Trinidad and Tobago’s Crime Stoppers at the same time he was making out like a bandit in Chaguaramas.

(For the benefit of the Senior Counsel who just got forwarded this article to consider legal action, Mr Live Wire stresses that “making out like a bandit” means to “turn a very large profit”. But don’t worry SC, you can still make a killing with Faris’ next Commission of Enquiry!)

And, for the topping on the cake, at least one company was allegedly not even paying the paltry rent charged!

In essence, the CDA is the LifeSport for big shots. And, just like Adolphus Daniell with his TT$34 million, the millionaires’ club members—no disrespect meant to the billionaire Sammy—have every intention of keeping their loot.

Photo: Former Crime Stoppers chairman and Chaguaramas cowboy John Aboud.
Photo: Former Crime Stoppers chairman and Chaguaramas cowboy John Aboud.

A 9 June 2016 report by then CDA chairman, Anthony Pierre, suggested that two companies, Fouraime Enterprises and Starburst, should keep their leases since: “given the stage of development of these projects, it will be very costly to the CDA to terminate the leases and/or stop the projects.”

Wait, costly to whom?! So Pierre prefers that they benefit from an alleged crime perpetrated against taxpayers than potentially lose money for having the gumption to try it on in the first place?

So if Mr Live Wire acquired a motorcar that was improperly taken from the rightful owner; but he went through the trouble of putting rims on it… He could keep it?!

Just now, robbers will be getting tax right offs for gas used on their heists!

Of course, if anyone was unsure about the government’s commitment to dealing with crime, then that should been settled at the last meeting between the two major parties when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley turned up with a MP, Marlene McDonald, who is under investigation by the police and Integrity Commission for fraud. And Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar took attorney Gerald Ramdeen who has a clear stake in the current murderous climate, since he represents cadavers.

Not that Ramdeen is the only one who is seeing dead people these days.

Today’s Express headline read: “Central woman turned up dead.”

Photo: A Trinidad Express editor has a ghastly experience.
Photo: A Trinidad Express editor has a ghastly experience.

That must have been a haunting experience. But then there are no shortage of those in this two island republic.

One last thing… Did those cowboys consider how their patrons would get to and from their proposed establishments in Chaguaramas on the single lane road when one Red Bull event at Pier One virtually shut down the whole west coast with traffic, four years ago?

Did any of the various State agencies responsible for granting constructing permits consider that?

So much for the myth of our brilliant business leaders who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

Don’t laugh too hard though. One way or the other, Mr Live Wire bets those Chaguaramas cowboys will throw taxpayers’ money at that cock up too!

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  1. This is such a disgrace on so many levels…..

  2. Nothing comes out of these inquiries is only some lawyers getting rich

  3. Everyone feel they smart if they could of gotten they way in laventille they would have done the same they are bold and brase face people let the People have back their land the Dr Eric Williams fought it for us let them have they were planting it,everyone feel negroes are stupid people

  4. They always feel that Negroes don’t derserve anything that your parents had before and they always feel they are smarter that us and feel we don’t know abou,,t land and the use of it

  5. Meanwhile, we await the whistleblower legislation promised up and down the campaign trail by Dr Rowley. It is sickening to me that the citizenry is being advantaged left and right by the political elite. Hoping for signs that truly good leadership is still around and for the slim possibility of good governance. The upcoming budget and parliamentary term will give us a clue.

    • the PNM government has laid the Bills listed below in Parliament and need the Oppositon’s support to pass in Parliament. We have seen their actions to date politicking and hindering the flow of actions to treat with the following: Foreign Terrorist Fighters Bill, Bail Amendment Bill, Cybercrime Bill, Whistleblower Protection Bill and the Civil Asset Forefeiture Bill. I wonder why they stalling on these Bills ?

    • Hello, so if the government of the day cannot pass any bills of substance, what does it say about our system of governance, where MPs and Ministers are well paid, and where citizens cannot get value for their tax dollar?

  6. In many instance these leases are part of a bigger leaseback agreement whereby the government would lease the land for the said $1 for 99 years, the developer develops the land, and then sub-leases his lease to the government to make a profit. Then at the end of the lease sell back the land to the government!

  7. You all realise that Life Sport is like fighting over pennies compared to this right?

  8. This CDA racket could easily make Life Sport look like chicken feed.

  9. Time for lock up and i don’t care which party but that ain’t going to happen in my lifetime.

  10. PNM lawyers must eat a food too you know.

    Take more Commission of Enquiries and Audits in yuh pweffen.

  11. This place real jookey yes! Imangine an Enquiry into an Enquiry and there’s “concrete evidence” demonstrating that somebody authorized construction which should not have taken place in that location in the first place.; yet the authorizer does not want to be held responsible/accountable????

  12. Nerisha that deal was done in 1994..same people with Superpharm

  13. Lasana—You forgot to mention the Wetland Chaguaramas Farmers lands –where they wanted to put the sid “Car Park!!”

  14. The govt is giving away land and contracts to this parasitic oligarchy so that they or their children can wake up one morning and have the capital to open a business which in turn may crash your friend’s or parents own , that they have slaved to bring to profitability . Hey T&T SWEET !

  15. Hmm…the father, if I recall correctly, was a prominent PNM. Now the son gets sweetheart deal from other party. And we wonder why nothing would be done about crime in Trinidad? Is this the son who has Superpharm?

  16. then they say black people don’t’ own anything, but who takes away land from them and give to the rich. Those who sell thier souls for aFew dollars more

  17. the parasitic oligarchy given out lands which Dr Eric Williamn fought for on behalf of T&T. What did the politicians received in return

  18. Oh, I’m making one correction. Joseph Rahael is the son of John Rahael and not nephew. 😉

  19. The rot ALWAYS starts at the TOP. We ALL will stand before HIM one day, the one who cannot be bribed. What you sow you WILL reap.

  20. God i hope nobody thinks I’m Solomon when I’m out

  21. That’s why the banks pay 0.5% interest on deposits BUT the political party bank interest is limitless . Anybody ever see a big businessman’s finger stained on election day ? Ask for Sammy the only thing he or his children sponsor is a water truck for parties . Its as close as pissing on us they can get I guess !

    • The PNM government continues to divulge all the corruption that took place under the PP government, so what next? Who has to act now? Who has to act now. Is this for TTPS to act on ,the fraud squad? I think not, we have an Acting Commissioner acting more than Brad Pitt and has nothing to show for 5 years. (E mail Gate, Prison, Gate , Clause , 34, 6million to take out a truck, NLCB, Petrotrin, NGC, Water Waste Plant, Life Sport, Dana Seetahal etc, ) and the list goes on and on. Additionally, it was made quite clear to us the citizens when Mr Seales (with an allegation hanging over his head) won the post of President , This told us the corrupted stae of the Police service when he was supportd by the majority. Both Mr Sealeas and Mr Ramesar demanding outstanding payments, Tell me for what? What is the percentage of crimes solved. If solving crime was a determinant for policemen to get pay , we would be a rich country. When would politicians and white collar criminals be sent to jail in T&T. only little black boys with marijuana and cocaine fulling up the jail.

    • Excellent commentary Rossana Glasgow.

  22. Trinidad and Tobago, the land of ongoing investigations! The land in which investigations are simply smoke screens, a means to enrich the corrupt, bride the investigators, and fool the citizens into complacency. Crapeaux smoking we pipes big time, qui!

  23. Every point is put across cleverly & clearly. quote: “Incidentally, the cost to construct the two disastrous Las Alturas towers was TT$26 million. And the cost of the enquiry into the towers? Forty million TT dollars and rising.” We must like it so. What are we doing about this????

  24. Yup…u raise Marlene…I raise you Ramdeen. And I do want to know about those permits as on normal Sunday evening it sometimes takes you an hour to get out. As for the nonsense about the lease and stage of construction…btw, when I miss Marcia’s raw honesty, it’s nice to read an artice like this. Whatever side of the fence we sit on, we need to keep our politicians accountable. Especially in the digital age with info at our fingertips. And I totally agree the country would have much less problems with two other leaders who do not have as much question marks against them; we are spending too much time on what should not even be issues rather than focusing on moving the country forward.

  25. And in case ppl have not noticed, the gates just after Alutrint (?) when u enter and where there is a security booth, can be closed off and restrict or charge for entrance. Btw what became of all the additional facilities besides the boardwalk? Are they even open to the public?

  26. Hahaha Lasana! Well played. You didnt tell us who Habib is tho..thats an interesting one. And why did Pierre resign, or was he pushed?

  27. Does anyone know who is building 1. south of the Divali nagar site and 2. north of the new Agriculture building? There is work going on apace on two massive buildings . I always thought thought those lands belong to the state. Perhaps they are Government buildings. Just enquiring.

  28. I wonder how often these politicians meet to laugh at the rest of us…

  29. what can we do about this?.For a year we have heard of all the corruption and no one has been held accountable. so sit back and relax. Is thta it

  30. Have you heard anything about the 200 acres Las Cuevas Bay Development project advertised by UDeCOTT between 2006 to 2008? Was the land sold? If it was, to whom?

  31. Ha ha .. good one, Lasana .. if not to laugh, we will cry. “So if Mr Live Wire acquired a motorcar that was improperly taken from the rightful owner; but he went through the trouble of putting rims on it… He could keep it?! Just now, robbers will be getting tax right offs for gas used on their heists!”

  32. This is so depressing eh. Hence why I stop going on those political pages. You will never see me in a political rally or walking any street for any party. Cus the more things change the more it remain the same…

  33. As much as we address crime [murders]…this is a large part of the lawless structure that remains untouched! This example at the top is what fuels & is reflected at the bottom! Crime pay$

  34. You did a better job at telling that story than I did?

  35. A road to Chaguaramas at taxpayers expense will be built to support these developments. Dual Causeway???

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