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Fraud squad moves on Fyzabad forgery; grills staff, players and SSFL officials

Fyzabad Secondary principal Troy Jebodhsingh, vice-principal Suresh Roopnarine and physical education teacher Nigel Lakhan were grilled by the Fraud Squad today, as the Police stepped up investigations into the improper registration of footballers, Dez Jones and Maurice Dick.

Jones, the Fyzabad football team captain, and Dick were registered as lower sixth form students last month based on fraudulent exam certificates.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary team manager Nigel Lakhan.
(Courtesy Expression House Media/Wired868)

Lakhan and Roopnarine told the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Disciplinary Committee that the players fooled the administrators with forged documents. However, Jones and Dick denied this and insisted they handed over original transcripts to Lakhan and did know if they were altered afterwards.

Jones had two O’ level passes while Dick had one. Both were enrolled in lower sixth form with certificates that claimed they had four passes each.

The SSFL suspended Fyzabad from the league, roughly two weeks ago, as a result of the deception while the matter was subsequently transferred to the Ministry of the Education and then the Police Service.

Wired868 understands the Fraud Squad interviewed SSFL president William Wallace and general secretary Azaad Khan yesterday as well as the two teenagers before they moved on the school today. It is uncertain whether the Police have also visited school supervisor, Zabeedah Abid.

According to one school official, the dodgy credentials would have passed through a screening committee at Fyzabad as well as Roopnarine and Jebodhsingh before being sent to Abid to secure the boys a position in sixth form.

Photo: The Fyzabad Secondary team pose before kick off against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
Maurice Dick (bottom row, far left) and Dez Jones (top row, far right) were both in the starting line-up.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Once Abid gave the go-ahead, Fyzabad would then approach the SSFL Credentials Committee to have the boys registered to play.

The certificate proffered suggested that Dick and Jones wrote their CXC exams in January 2017, which is off the Fyzabad school compound. However, the centre numbers on the certificates were from June 2016—when the boys did exams at Moruga Secondary and Siparia respectively.

Somehow, Trinity College Moka got wind of the fraudulent activity and lodged a protest with the SSFL Disciplinary Committee, which set a train in motion that led to a small army of Fraud Squad officers turning up at the Fyzabad school.

Bizarrely, despite having discovered the fraud, the SSFL Disciplinary Committee—which is headed by Khan—initially chose to deduct points from the “Fyzo Tigers” and allow them to continue in the league. Fyzabad would almost certainly have still done enough to avoid relegation from the Premier Division.

However, Wallace raised the issue with the SSFL’s executive committee which overruled the Disciplinary Committee and suspended Fyzabad.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary head coach Brian Williams gives instruction to his squad during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
Looking on are (from right to left) assistant coach Kerry Jamerson, team manager Nigel Lakhan and principal Troy Jebodhsingh.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The Fyzabad principal, Jebodhsingh, subsequently suspended football at the school—boys and girls teams—for the rest of the year so as to verify the legitimacy of all other school players.

The Police intend to get to the bottom of the Dick and Jones case first.

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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193 comments

  1. People keep talking about the League and SSFL in a negative way ,that they have to cleanup their act .
    Some critical analysis needed ,it is because the SSFL system works that these issues were found out .
    The league took action ,did the schools do the same .
    The SSFL should be complimented on having a system that works ,albeit not perfectly but which requires some effort to be bypassed.
    Finally keep in mind very strongly that this is a Principals league ,ultimately what they wish the league to be will be the creature which will emerge .

  2. Well it is about time that meh police take action against these corrupted school officials. Them really good yes

  3. There is dishonesty in every aspect of life in Trini…but a teacher falsifying a government document…is a completely different scene…

  4. Not only in school league youth pro league has there ups an down with curropt pratices however this nature of fraud is a criminal pratice

  5. We no all this took place a long time creating the 6 form players never attended classes etc every year some school in trouble with corruption towards players regrestration however look at the distance this one take it is a criminal distance fraud of a different level

    • Naps has always looked after their student athletes; this I know.

    • Yeah Coach Angus Eve do you really want us to believe what you is saying is true eh you tried to recruit the same player that decided to play for the Shiva boys team eh and because he blanked allyuh Naps team eh Alyuh lodged a protest against him and as I said before although the coaches isn’t responsible for recruting and doing the paper work for the school, they must know that when there is an illegal player that is on their team the same thing that Brian Williams explained about being suspicious about illegal player on his team after Mr. Live Wire exposed his school team. Them really good yes

    • Smh… I doubt coaches go over attendance records of players at school. So I don’t see how Mango. But let me not prolong this talk nah. Lol

    • My only point Mr Live Wire is that the coaches knows when they have an illegal player on their teams and only start to say this and that the same way Brian Williams started to buss the files on his suspicions eh and if you didnt expose his shcool team it wudda be business as usual thank meh Father God for wired and your exposing of all these ah people who just cannot help themselves eh and you is so right why we prolonging this talk about these set ah bootleg corrupted people Them really good yes Lol

  6. This going on for far too long, I give kudos to the SSFL for recognizing these discrepancies and that I hope it serves as a eye opener to other parties that decide to engage in acts like these….

  7. Oh lawd Indra R Geoff you should know by now that ah like the bacchanal thing eh and yes it shouldn’t have anything to do with race because a little birdie told me that this madness has been happening moons ago even at St Anthony’s college when Coach Grovey use to do his thing eh and created a form 6 class just to allowed the duncy head players to play for the school and he isn’t indian eh. Them really good yes.

  8. Some of the comments like “shut down the league” and “if it were a prestige school..” sound more emotional than based on fact. Firstly, there are more schools adhering to the rules than schools breaking them. Secondly, Presentation was subject to loss of points and lower place in league last year. All schools need to treated the same and as fairly as possible. Seems the SSFL has to perform a top down review of all policies and procedures to ensure next season has a much more holistic approach to managing all aspects of their operation.