Contracts given to gang leaders to be audited

Friday, July 19, 2019

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PORT OF SPAIN,Trinidad (CMC) — The Minister of Rural Development and Local Government says an expansive audit will be conducted into the mul­timil­lion-dol­lar con­tracts giv­en to sev­en re­put­ed gang lead­ers at two government-con­trolled cor­po­ra­tions .

In a media release, Kaz­im Ho­seing, sig­nalled his in­ten­tion to have the mat­ter prop­er­ly in­ves­ti­gat­ed.

His de­ci­sion came just hours af­ter the Trinidad Guardian newspaper pub­lished a re­port which high­light­ed the de­tails of a con­fi­den­tial Spe­cial Branch re­port which named sev­en re­put­ed gang lead­ers who ben­e­fit­ed from mul­timil­lion-dol­lar State con­tracts from the Diego Mar­tin Re­gion­al Corporation and the Port-of-Spain Cor­po­ra­tion.

The in­for­ma­tion con­tained in a con­fi­den­tial re­port pre­pared in mid-May forms part of a Guardian Me­dia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, just one week af­ter Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith blamed the State for plac­ing funds in the hands of gang lead­ers.

Grif­fith warned that the prac­tice had fu­elled gang wars and con­tributed to an up­surge in homi­cides over the last 15 years.

Ho­sein said he viewed the “al­le­ga­tions very se­ri­ous­ly and in­tends to ad­dress them as a mat­ter of ur­gency”.

He said the au­di­tors from his min­istry are sched­uled “to com­mence an in­ves­ti­ga­tion as a mat­ter of ur­gency, at all cor­po­ra­tions” and “CEOs have al­ready been con­tact­ed to pro­vide sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion to our in­ter­nal au­dit unit”.

The au­dit will be per­formed by the In­ter­nal Au­dit Unit of the Min­istry of Rur­al and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment.

Ho­sein says once the audit is completed he ex­pect­s a re­port to be sub­mit­ted to his of­fice by the end of Au­gust.


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