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Ten charged with attempting to defraud T&T gov't of flood relief funds

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Ten people, including a clerk in the Ministry of Social Development and Family Service, will re-appear in court on Friday after they were charged with attempting to defraud the Trinidad and Tobago government of TT$140,000 (US$22,400) following the recent floods here.

The clerk, Farrah Haniff, was charged for distributing forged emergency relief and recovery assistance forms on behalf of seven people in the sum of TT$20,000 (US$3,200) each.

The others charged are Heather Griffith Benjamin, Michael Alexis, Ajay Ramlakhan, Debbie Critchlow, Mandisa Stewart, Adelphine Lallion, Carla Christopher Bennett, Darren Collin Balcon and Rohini Persad.

They appeared before Magistrate Marissa Gomez in the Port of Spain Magistrates' First Court on charges of attempting to defraud the government of flood grants.

They were not called upon to plead because the charges have been laid indictably.

The prosecution said that it would be prepared to disclose the summary of evidence on Friday and all the accused were granted TT$30,000 (US$4,800) bail.

The Trinidad and Tobago government has said it has provided millions of dollars in grant aid to persons whose homes were affected by the recent floods. In some instances, families received between TT$15, 000 (US$2,400) and TT$20,000 (US$3,800) in assistance.

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