‘Taxpayers bought TT$3m villa in Tobago’

(Trinidad Express) United National Congress (UNC) deputy political leader, Roodal Moonilal, has alleged that Calder Hart used taxpayers’ money to purchase a multi-million-dollar villa in Tobago, while he was executive chairman at the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT).

Moonilal produced a document he said was evidence, during the People’s Partnership second anniversary celebration at Mid Centre Mall car park, Chaguanas, on Thursday night.

The legal document was discovered hidden in a desk at UDeCOTT, it was said. Moonilal said UDeCOTT was being monitored to ensure governance rules, procedures and systems were being followed.

He said an inter-ministerial team chaired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was set up to monitor UDeCOTT’s spending and operations.

“Now when a UDeCOTT manager wants to go on vacation, they have to get permission from me (Minister of Housing). You think Calder Hart could have gone to Rowley (former minister of housing) and ask permission to go on a vacation? No,” he said.

The Tobago property purchased in October, 2007, is located at Coral Seashells, Villas #113, Anthony Charles Crescent, Bon Accord, Tobago, and priced at US$449,500 (TT$3 million), said Moonilal.

“This is a State enterprise that is making a purchase agreement in US dollars. Over TT$3m of taxpayers money to purchase a luxury executive villa for UDeCOTT in Tobago. What them doing with villa and swimming pool and house like this in Tobago? So today if those citizens in the Beetham protesting for jobs we must tell them, we would have had money to give you jobs,” he said.

But Moonilal questioned whether Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, was aware of the transaction.

He asked whether the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London was informed that a villa in Tobago was sold to UDeCOTT.

 

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