AUDIO: Interview on Power Breakfast on CL Financial bailout 31 July 2017

power102fmThis is my interview with Rhoda Bharath & Richard Ragoobarsingh on the CL Financial bailout on the Power Breakfast Show where we discussed the bailout, the lack of transparency and the debacle of its handling. Audio courtesy Power 102 FM.

Programme Date: 31 July 2017
Programme Length: 00:57:39

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Finding the Ferry Facts: Letter to the Editor – Trinidad Express

The Editor,

The Tobago Ferry issue has now landed at an unfortunate impasse, with the PM chairing a meeting of Stakeholders next week Monday.

The loud allegations of corruption and bad practice are as varied as the defensive claims by public officials, so once again we seem to be in a cloudy place. Some real clarity is needed urgently, if we are to restore public confidence, not to mention the required level of service for the Tobago Ferry.

alisonlewis-rohansinanan
PATT chairperson, Alison Lewis and Minister of Work Rohan Sinanan. © Trinidad Express

Given that both Minister Sinanan and Port Authority Chair, Ms Alison Lewis, have welcomed any investigation into this matter, immediate steps need to be taken to clear the air by publishing these details –

  1. Ultimate Beneficial Owner – Who is the Ultimate Beneficial Owner of Bridgman’s Service Group? This is an elementary part of any due diligence process and should be readily available;
  2. Tender Evaluations – The Tender Evaluation Reports for the several tender exercises undertaken to replace the Superfast Galicia, including those aborted or suspended exercises. The 39th recommendation of the Uff Report is directly applicable to this fiasco –

    “…The reviewing of tenders and the making of decisions upon the award of contracts should be undertaken in as transparent a manner as possible, including demonstrating clear compliance with procurement rules, so as to allay suspicion of improper actions or potential corrupt influences…”

    We continue to ignore those findings to our collective detriment.;

  3. Ferry Contracts – The contracts for the Cabo Star and the now-cancelled Ocean Flower Two must now be published in the interests of transparency and accountability.

The public is paying for this Ferry arrangement, both in terms of actual Public Money and in terms of the tremendous inconvenience and losses, so there can be no reasonable case for further concealment of these critical details.

Afra Raymond
Port of Spain

CL Financial bailout – hide and seek…part two

The meaning of the PM’s speech of 27th July 2017 was truly sobering. 27 July was the anniversary of the Muslimeen coup, the 27th anniversary, as it so happens. This might look like a mere coincidence, but stay with me here.

Dr Rowley told us that the CL Financial group, which has been under the direction of a State-controlled Board since 2009, was either not in control or themselves culpable in this serious situation now upon the country. The failure to keep proper audited accounts and the issue of the alleged diversion of Angostura’s dividends, all add to the impression of a huge, out-of-control entity operating to our collective detriment. It also seems from that statement that the only substantial repayment of CLF’s debt to the State was the $7.5 Billion earned from the sale of shares in Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd. Where did the hefty dividends from Republic Bank Ltd go? Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – hide and seek…part two”

CL Financial bailout – hide and seek

This title denotes the search for truth and the meaning of that truth. The main issue to be confronted this week is the attempt to once again create an alternative narrative, this time in relation to interest charged on the Public Money spent in this bailout.

Every year, I observe The Season of Reflection, between Emancipation Day on 1st August; Independence Day on 31st August and Republic Day on 24th September. There appears to be a meaning in the sequence of these holidays in terms of both the years and dates. Some notion of progress from the barbarism of Slavery to the undignified bad-old days of Colonialism to the better days we now experience as citizens of a Republic. But that progress did not come just so, there had to be real pressure for change.

Searching for progress and understanding requires us to go deep, even if only for a spell, hence The Season of Reflection.

This Season opens at a charged moment in the riveting CL Financial bailout, which I described last week as a bold-faced snatch-and-grab. Of course I was referring to the attempt by the shareholders to regain control of the CLF group without a binding agreement in place to ensure repayment of the $15 Billion in Public Money spent in this bailout. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – hide and seek”

Joint Media Statement on the lack of Transparency in the CL Financial Bailout

Dear Collegues

Please see attached a Joint Media statement from Mr Afra Raymond (www.afraraymond.net), Mr David Walker and myself Rishi Maharaj (CEO Disclosure Today). “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” This quote seems to epitomize the current scenario the country is facing regarding the CL Financial fiasco. Over the past eight and a half years each of us in our own capacity have made several requests for financial information regarding the bailout.

Additionally The Prime Minister’s recent statement on the CLF legal actions also raises some interesting questions. There now seem to be more questions than answers after the Prime Minister’s statement but at least we have made a start.

It is therefore our view that in the best interests of protecting taxpayers, it is clear that the government should immediately lift the veil that they erected and be open with the public.
Regards,

Rishi Maharaj
Chief Executive Officer
Disclosure Today
http://www.disclosure.today | rishi@disclosure.today
120 Abercromby Street
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

CL Financial bailout – the Tangled Web

tangled-web

…The official also pointed out that no interest was ever charged on the amount of money that was loaned to the CLF group…
—Quote from an anonymous ‘Government official’ in this newspaper on 21 July 2017.

Well yes.

A bold-faced snatch-and-grab is now being attempted and our total vigilance is now required. According to the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors I saw at Zuccotti Park in 2012 –

‘If you are not Outraged, You haven’t been paying attention!’

Last week I spoke to the epic legal mangle which was about to engulf us all in relation to the CL Financial bailout fiasco. It is important to know that it does not matter if you had an investment in CLF or were a shareholder. It does not matter at all. This issue is so huge that every citizen has skin in the game. That includes the unborn ones and those CARICOM citizens who are not citizens of T&T. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the Tangled Web”