Young: South raids not connected to Anand, Ramdeen case

Friday, May 10, 2019 - 06:00

Last week’s raids on cer­tain South homes had noth­ing to do with the al­leged cor­rup­tion-re­lat­ed cas­es of Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress mem­bers Anand Ram­lo­gan and Ger­ald Ramdeen - but there was very good rea­son for these homes to be searched, Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young said at yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing.

Young made the com­ment as he sup­port­ed Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley’s re­cent view that war­rants weren’t al­ways need­ed for some search­es. He said if there’s rea­son­able sus­pi­cion a crime is about to be per­pe­trat­ed or is be­ing per­pe­trat­ed, po­lice “have the au­thor­i­ty” to en­ter premis­es to deal with what’s about to be done and pre­vent it.

Young al­so said he couldn’t com­pare Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment Sen­a­tor Lester Hen­ry’s DUI case - where Hen­ry plead­ed guilty - with Ram­lo­gan and Ramdeen’s cas­es.

Op­po­si­tion queries have been raised about this af­ter Ramdeen re­signed from the Sen­ate ahead of ap­pear­ing in court on Mon­day. Hen­ry re­mains on the PNM’s Sen­ate bench.

Young said he didn’t see the com­par­i­son be­tween Hen­ry’s drink­ing/dri­ving case and Ramdeen and Ram­lo­gan’s al­leged mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion cas­es.

Young al­so apol­o­gised and said he was em­bar­rassed to learn from me­dia yes­ter­day about out­stand­ing pay­ments for Im­mi­gra­tion De­ten­tion Cen­tre work­ers.

Oth­er sec­tors, in­clud­ing TTT work­ers and MTS se­cu­ri­ty of­fi­cers for schools al­so haven’t been paid. He said he got a call from a TTT work­er on this.

He said Cab­i­net yes­ter­day ap­proved $100 mil­lion for Fi­nance to fa­cil­i­tate pay­ments for MTS and oth­er con­trac­tors. He ad­mit­ted there are cash flow dif­fi­cul­ties from time to time.

How­ev­er, Young said Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert would have an op­por­tu­ni­ty at to­day’s Par­lia­ment to com­ment on pos­i­tive news that the In­ter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund has re­vised its as­sess­ment of T&T to now be­ing on a growth path.

The IMF re­cent­ly stat­ed there was no growth but the lat­est re­port changed this out­look.

Par­lia­ment to­day de­bates an Op­po­si­tion mo­tion on the econ­o­my.

Reporter: Gail Alexander