Rowley exposes new e-mails

By Anna Ramdass
May 8, 2015 –

Dr. Keith RowleyON THE heels of being suspended from Parliament over Emailgate, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley last night exposed more e-mails.

This time he has shown new e-mails which allege that $60 million was transferred from First Citizens bank to three foreign banks.

Speaking at a People’s National Movement (PNM) meeting in Arima, Rowley said he received a string of e-mails from a whistleblower who was concerned about the status of investigations into this matter.

The money, said Rowley, was transferred from the account of the National Energy Corporation (NEC) to banks in the United States and Dubai and to an attorney’s office in Antigua.

The e-mails Rowley had in his possession detailed the transaction amounts and the dates—the transfers took place in September 2011.

Rowley said NEC lawyers picked it up and investigations were started.

He said another e-mail purported to have come from Interpol where requests were sent to security officials in Antigua and Dubai asking for information and assistance in the investigation.

Rowley said there were three separate unauthorised wire transfers and one of the e-mails drew it to his attention that no action has been taken against the perpetrators.

These e-mails, said Rowley, will never get into the Parliament under the present Government.

He noted that Finance Minister Larry Howai was in charge of FIrst Citizens at the time when the unauthorised transactions were said to have taken place.


12 thoughts on “Rowley exposes new e-mails”

  1. He didn’t learn from his last set of emails so he brought out some new ones. I guess his buddy West is helping him since West was in the employ of the FIU at that time….

  2. Correction Dr. ROWLEY is referring to an attempt to defraud the government in 2011. Here is the media report.

    By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Friday, November 11 2011

    Investigations are ongoing into an attempt to defraud the National Energy Corporation (NEC) of an estimated $61,440,000, via wire transfers to overseas accounts.
    This was revealed yesterday by Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine at yesterday’s post-Cabinet meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair. Some of the overseas accounts reportedly include banks in the United States, Dubai and London.

    Ramnarine disclosed that on September 26, last, while officials at the NEC were reviewing their bank statements for the past year, it was discovered that US$9.6 million (TT$61,440,000) was missing from a US dollar account owned by the company at First Citizens Bank (FCB).

    “These incidents were uncovered in the very late part of September while the NEC was reviewing its bank statements. They noticed that US$ 9.6 million was missing from a US dollar account from transactions which occurred just a couple days before September 26,” Ramnarine said.

    Ramnarine said the corporation contacted the bank as well the Energy Ministry, and from there, further investigations were launched and it was learnt that the sum was attained by the presentation of false documents to facilitate the wire transfers.

    “So far a significant portion has been recovered, and with the assistance of legal proceedings enacted by the FCB, we have been successful in attaining a freezing order on most of the outstanding sum,” Ramnarine said. He revealed that so far, about US$4.6 million has been recovered from one of the financial institutions to which the money was transferred. He noted that while that meant that US$5 million was still outstanding, about 98 percent of that sum had been frozen and the State was working assiduously to recover the missing money.

    He noted that investigations had revealed the relevant companies and organisations that the money had been transferred to, and as a result, the State would be sparing no effort to ensure that the money was recovered and those responsible were made to face the consequences of their actions. However, this was as much as the line minister was prepared to say with regard to the investigations of the fraud.”

  3. If this new emailgate/Rowleygate revelation is investigated and if it turns out to be accurate, then the police can charge those responsible if a crime or crimes have been committed.
    Howai was in charge of First Citizen at the time.Does a bank president have full knowledge of all transactions occurring on a daily basis?
    How is the present government implicated in all of this? Who were the NEC officials who allegedly made the transfers and why?
    Why did Rowley not consult with the Police? Who is the whistle-blower?
    Rowdy is desperate to become PM of T&T. Ambition is made of sterner stuff.

  4. While a bank president won’t know the daily nitty gritty transactions at his bank, he will surely know of extremely large monetary movements within the bank accounts. That’s a given.
    Your other questions will be answered very soon but suffice it to say that there is no obligation or legal compulsion to reveal who a whistle blower is–again for obvious reasons. Trinbagonians need to get with the times and start thinking like the Canadians and Europeans. Stop using emotion and personal biases in analysing a situation and start using reason and facts in analysis. That’s how 1st World people operate.

    1. Who is this Insain guy who has parachuted onto the scene to teach us about First World politics. Listen man, we watch CNN and see what passes as First World politics. It is like watching a soap opera filled with greed, racism,corruption betrayals, accusations, partisanship, paranoia, revenge, vengeance….thank you CNN.

      1. “Who is this insain guy” You informed me awhile ago that I have begun “to show my ignorance”….You have demonstrated your inability to “spell simple words”…”insain” is for kindergarten kids.”Insane” is what you have yet to learn….ignoramus!

        1. Once again you are showing your ignorance. Insain is a play on the spelling of the name Usain, a blogger above.
          Come on Sword, get with the program. My reply was directed to Usain C.

          1. Come on Swordfish,you can’t fall asleep while driving on dis here Trini Center Information Highway,or else you can cause serious accidents-which can cause your demise.
            In your big metropolis por ejemplo,if you get into an RTA,you call de Cops ,then sit in your vehicle,and await their arrival.
            In our T&T,you go to your trunk,take out your Glock,Tech 9,or Smith & Wesson,then in an act of road rage ,pump 10 in de head/chest of that bloke ,you perceived, did you wrong ,and then drive off,in your stolen vehicle.


            It ain’t too often,but yep,I agree with TMan ,on dis one. We don’t need yet another ‘one oh dem ,’big country -enamored bums ,who thinks, they can “parachute on to the scene ,”and teach us 3rd World peons ,about 1st World politics.
            For the record,unlike ‘many of us ..’most of these ,Americans,Canadians,and Europeans ,ain’t have a clue about their own domestic political realities anyway….Ummm,can’t make a distinction between their heads ,and their rear ends.
            They are bombarded with their Conservative media ,liberal media ,propagandist state centric/national media and 5 million agenda driven ,social media entities,from Huffington post,to Drudge Report,and Democracy now.
            We have Trini Center,Express,Guardian,Newsday etc,to keep us up to speed.
            In the Middle East,they counteracted the CNN monopoly with Al Jazzera.
            Get a grip piasano!
            Ain’t life beautiful people!
            ‘Me think so’-especially if you possess some sense of humor-boorish as such might be ….hmmmmmm?
            Love Humanity people!


      Can he Expose the following:
      1. Nepotism, Patrick Manning making his wife Hazel Manning a Minister

      2. Planting Missiles and Cocaine in MP Sadiq Baksh Water Tank

      3. Granting Brian Manning a Gun License in 24 hours and disregarding all rules and procedures

      4. Giving Brian Manning $9 million for a basketball competition ……(Has it start yet?)

      5. The scandal and embarrassment of the $2 million legacy flag

      6. $50 million dollars Boat that never Float

      7. $45 million secret skullarship fund

      8. John Rahael as Minister of Agriculture lease a house and parcel of land belonging to Caroni 1975 Ltd. To his sister

      9. John Rahael as Minister of Health give his sons the contract to provide drugs for the CDAP programme

      10. Penelope Beckles father got CEPEP contracts while she was an MP

      11. Barry Sinanan law firm get government briefs while he was speaker of the house

      12. Patrick Manning rented a house from Lenny Saith brother for $38,000 per month while the Palace was building

      13. Jerry Narace Company got the contract to provide insurance for T&TEC

      14. Kerwyn Garcia, husband of Christine Kangaloo, gets $530,000.brief from government

      15. PNM Chairman Franklyn Khan wife get a $60 million contract days before the 2010 election

      16. $5 million worth of materials from the Tobago Hospital went to develop Dr. Keith Rowley wife private project

      17. Robinson-Regis husband $50,000 per month job at WASA

      18. Tobago Hospital going from $136 million to over $800 million in overrun

      19. Tarouba Stadium going from $275 million to over $1 billion in overrun

      20. Patrick Manning call to the Marabella Police Station demanding his driver be released

      21. Cocaine found in diplomatic pouch

      22. Patrick Manning $240 million Palace with $3 million drapes

      23. Calder Hart$368 million contract to his brother-in-law

      24. $2 billion summit of no return

      25. Camille Robinson-Regis credit card scandal

      26. Maco Manning SIA spying on law abiding citizen

      27. $650 million incomplete Legal Affairs Tower

      28. $700 million incomplete Chancery Lane Complex

      29. $500 million incomplete South Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA)

      30. $576Million Rapid Rail feasibility study scandal

      31. Dustbin Terrorist a.k.a Mr. Big still at large

      32. Bombardier jet joyride

      33. A condo for the Profitess/Prophetess at UTT

      34. $30 million mystery Guanapo church

      35. $30 Million Bamboo Networks Scandal

      36. EMBD Chairman Uthara Rao using $400,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay for sexual harassment claims

      37. Manning/Bakr Land Deal for Election support

      38. Manning giving CJ Sat Sharma an ultimatum to “resign or else”

      39. Former PNM Tresurer Andre Monteil Scandalous $110 million HMB Shares

      40. T&TEC Street Lighting Scandal

      41. $1.8 billion overrun on Waterfront Project

      42. Shaw Park Tobago Cultural Center $600 Million overrun and 8 years late

      43. Karen Nunez-Tesheira conflict of interest when she withdrew her monies from CLICO

      44. Udecott Calder Hart scandal

      45. Patrick Manning bolting into a Radio Station demanding 2 announcers be fired

      46. Petrotrin $12 billion world GTL, Scandal

      47. Making former murder accused David “Buffy” Millard coordinator of a $250 million NHA refurbishing project

      48. Appointed Mark Guerra as national adviser to the URP

      49. $50 Million Blimp that always Limp

      50. $500,000 Skullarship grant to Louis Lee Sing daughter-in-law, Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing

      51. Radio License for Louis Lee Sing in 24 hours

      52. $55,000 bribery to the former occupants of the Guanapo Church Land

      53. Cleaver Heights $10 million attempted fraud

      54. Patrick Manning calling Tobago Police Station and ordering 4 Bajan fishermen be released

      55. Discrimination against Feroza Ramjohn, Ganga Persad Kissoon and Harridath Mahara

      56. Discrimination against the Maha Saba Radio License

      57. Rushed to bailout their financier CLICO with billions of taxpayers money

      58. “Female” Minister calling the Point Fortin Police Station demanding her son be released after he was caught in a drug bust with 2 Venezuelans

      59. Calder Hart as NIB Chairman buying back the $110 million HMB Shares for $130 Million giving former PNM Tresurer Andre Monteil a $20 Million profit

      60. $126 Million Broadgate Place Tower Scandal

      61. Chaguanas Corporation Administrative Complex—$10 million over-budget and 24 months’ delay;

      62. Government campus, Legal Affairs Towers—$300 million over-budget

      63. Ministry of Education Towers—$300 million over budget

      64. NAPA (PoS)—$234 million over-budget

      65. NAPA (San Fernando)—$238 million over-budget

      66. Beverly Hills Housing—$106 million over-budget

      67. Three questionable payments to Bouygues days before the Election, payments were made on May 14 ($3.6 million), May 14 ($10 million) and May 19 ($5 million)

      68. Sunway Construction $300 million quarry contract Scandal

      69. $100 million to fix shoddy work done EMBD with Water pipes and Electricity together

      70. $150 Million to repair poorly constructed houses under Dr. Rowley watch

      71. The closure of Caroni 1975 Ltd. And Destruction of Thousands of Lives who depended on Caroni to feed their family

      72. Auditor-Generals Report stated $1.6 billion spent on CEPEP between 2002-2007 with lack of accountability

      73. How was Landate reclassified from agricultural lands to lands for residential use and where the money came from to build that development project?

      74. Tobago Financial Complex $81 million cost overrun

      75. Tobago Library $80 million cost overrun

      76. Patrick Manning use of a licence plate bearing the nation’s Coat of Arms on the Prime Minister car.

      77. DAWI Services Ltd ( Dane Wilson ) awarded $4 Million to construct Bagatelle Community Center. NO CENTER BUILT!

      78. DAWI Services Ltd ( Dane Wilson ) awarded $250,000.00 Cocorite project. Wall COLLAPSE

      79. $375,000 Cheque paid to a Ghost NGO belongs to the Common Law husband ofMarlene McDonald

      80. $2.3 Million Paid to Mc Eachrane’s Rental & Transport Service for an invisible community centre

      A Careful check will show almost $25 Billion in Scandal under the PNM 2002-2010

  5. $60m fraud case goes cold
    More than three years after over $60 million disappeared from the account of State-owned National Energy Corporation (NEC) at State bank First Citizens, investigations into the matter have gone cold.

  6. Rowley is furiously and anxiously trying to revive this old case, which the Energy Minister and the government, including the Opposition are fully aware of.The investigation has been continuing and the Express has front-paged it, Ria Taitt again, an agent of the PNM.It is yet another act of desperation by the EX-Leader of the Opposition….thank you Jack for stepping in.
    The founders and architects of corruption in T&T have suddenly become crime busters.The Doctor of rocks and soil has still not accounted satisfactorily for the missing gravel in Tobago…Landate, Las alturas

  7. More thiefry AGAIN……
    Govt’s failure to act
    Story Created: May 9, 2015 at 9:38 PM ECT
    Story Updated: May 9, 2015 at 9:38 PM ECT

    It was sold as a new rush of oil prospecting in South-West

    Soldado, a decade-old dream of dizzying black gold that would reduce Petrotrin’s reliance on imported crude and inject some much-needed cash into the State energy giant’s balance sheet.

    Instead, there were false starts to the much-ballyhooed

    SW Soldado development project: a failed shipyard expedition

    to the United States, insider information provided to a Houston start-up and a small Mexican firm, and the theft of US$750,000

    (TT $4.794 million) in public funds.

    Camini Marajh, head, Express Investigative Desk, delves into Petrotrin’s troubled and increasingly expensive bid to reactivate the

    SW Soldado field and the rich deals that have benefited a few

    individuals. This is the tenth in a series of articles.

    Part X

    Ten weeks after a special Sunday Express investigation revealed alleged corruption and serious governance and management issues at the State-owned-and-run oil company, Petrotrin, the People’s Partnership (PP) administration has done little or nothing to get to the truth of the accusations or to recover stolen public funds that were secretly funnelled to two private bank accounts in Maraval.

    Corporation Sole Larry Howai, who is answerable as the regulator and representative of the public stake in Petrotrin, has failed to respond to serious questions of malfeasance associated with the highly questionable procurement deal with Mexican contractor Maritima de Ecologia SA de CV, also known as Marecsa.

    The only comment proffered by the man entrusted with the responsibility of protecting public shareholder interest in State corpo­rations like Petrotrin was that he was awaiting a report “before taking the next step”. This comment was obtained via text message on April 17. Howai has not responded to further questions on the matter, even to say whether he is in receipt of the requested information or what, if anything, he has done about it.

    Line Minister Kevin Ramnarine has also been reticent in his response to the Government’s failure to pursue aggressively and transparently serious allegations of public corruption in the State energy giant. His last word on the matter, also on April 17, was that he is in receipt of a Petrotrin-authored report which he is “reviewing”. He did not comment on why he has not ordered an independent transparent forensic investigation into all matters relating to the Soldado contract or why he was relying on Petrotrin to self-report on itself.

    And sidestepping the very serious allegation of corrupt payments of Petrotrin funds, the Energy Minister pointed us to Petrotrin’s public response contained in paid newspaper advertisements, which fails to answer key questions about the advanced illegal payment of a US$1.25 million commissioning fee made to Maritima and the oil company’s failure to pursue recovery of its money or the US$750K of the upfront payment secretly returned by the Mexican firm to two private ScotiaBank accounts in the last quarter of 2012.

    And despite the incumbent Gov­ernment’s repeated pledge of commitment to transparency and accountability to the people of Tri nidad and Tobago, the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration has done very little to honour that contract with the citizenry, in respect to allegations of wrongdoing at the State oil and gas company.

    Instead, the Prime Minister, reading from the same Petrotrin script, declared the oil company

    had no “dealings” with Jeffrey Clark, a central figure in the illegal payment that went to Maritima’s Houston bank account in Texas, USA, and the subsequent repayment money funnelled through a shell corporation, Sterling Marine Ltd (SML), in which he is the beneficial owner, and to a second unnamed beneficiary using the same business address of a temporary office rental in Woodbrook.

    Contrary to Petrotrin’s claims, and as reported previously in this series, Clark was an integral part of the financial arrangements related to the Soldado deal and was very well known to Petrotrin officials as evidenced by the documentary trail referenced in this investigation, including the invoice for the impro­per prepayment made outside the contract agreement and for which there is no paperwork, and e-mail correspondence showing Clark’s involvement in open discussions with Petrotrin management and Maritima’s principal, Gabriel Delgado, on the subject matter of “Approval for advance payment of Commissioning fee Rev 1.”

    Petrotrin has downplayed the role of Clark as Delgado’s local man of business, but Sunday Express investigations reveal the American expat who lived in a Diego Martin townhouse for several years was a wheeler-dealer who represented myriad interests associated with the Soldado deal. Clark was the point man and conduit for the repayment instructions to Delgado from unnamed Petrotrin parties and was handsomely rewarded with a US$100K payment of Petrotrin money to his SML account for services rendered. He was also entrusted with the important job of getting the remaining US$650K to an unnamed beneficiary.

    Petrotrin has refuted the investigative Soldado series, insisting the payment was an “approved and negotiated mobilisation fee”, but this is sharply contradicted by the company’s own documents which show funds were transferred to Delgado’s US bank account, in clear contravention of the contract agreement and for which there is no documented approval. There is also the extraordinary admission of one of the two authorised signatories to the improper payment, form­er vice-president, finance Sheriba Ali-Rajack, that she signed under a false premise.

    The State energy giant, which is yet to file a single lawsuit for recovery of its money after more than two years of “legal review” by its attorneys, has however filed several pre-action protocol letters in a matter of short weeks against the Sunday Express and the reporter of this investigative series, and has made a legal demand for us to name our sources.

    And as reported previously, Petro­trin’s own internal auditors were stonewalled by company officials, in its bid to find out the truth about the illegal prepayment of some $8 million of Petrotrin’s money and the huge accounting and corporate governance failures related to the Soldado project.

    And despite the extraordinary situation of the company’s chief audit executive (CAE) complaining to the chairman of the board audit committee of encountering resistance from top company officials, the Lindsay Gillette-led board of directors did nothing to hold management accountable for openly refusing to comply with established governance practices.

    Even the company’s president, Khalid Hassanali, failed to give a satisfactory explanation for the improper payment of company funds. The final December 18, 2012, company audit said this about Hassanali: “On 2012, October 9, Petrotrin’s president Khalid Hassanali told internal audit by telephone that he attended the negotiation meeting briefly on the second day and he was aware of the decision to pay a mobilisation fee.”

    There was no explanation for why the then acting company presi­dent took no action to correct an unauthorised variation of the Soldado contract or why he remained silent at a subsequent board meeting about the substantial and undocumented change in the terms of the contract agreement. There is also no straightforward answer for how a limited mandate for negotiations for lower lease rates, payable only after delivery of service, turned into a request for an upfront payment of the commissioning fee or why it was necessary to reclassify “commissioning” activities as “mobilisation” activities.

    Petrotrin auditors identified under­lying deficiencies in the payment approval process, multiple poor decisions, misrepresentation of information on which important and expensive decisions were made, lack of proper oversight and accountability, absence of documented approval, and overall dodgy reporting by company officials on the entire Soldado affair.

    Two years and substantial millions of dollars later, it is still unclear why the State-owned company opted to disregard its auditors report or why, in response to a 2014 director’s enquiry about the aborted Soldado deal with the Mexican company, it felt compelled to conduct a second probe, which Petrotrin insiders say whitewashed the whole transaction and which has been kept under tight wraps.

    In the only response received from Petrotrin on this matter, the company said: “Internal reviews were conducted by two independent teams and there has been no finding of culpability on the part of any person.” Petrotrin refused to answer the specific question about the identity of its “investigative teams”or to disclose the findings of the two company-conducted probes.

    The man reportedly at the centre of the second report, VP human resour­ces and corporate services Keith Ramnath, asked the Sunday Express to put its questions in writing when contacted for comment. Told Petrotrin had taken a position it was not answering any questions on the Soldado affair, he assured this was different and he would respond. However, as before, we received the standard reply from the company’s corporate communications manager that any comment on the matter “is likely to compromise Petrotrin’s position in any legal proceedings which it may commence”.

    It is a bit of a mystery why Petrotrin would conduct an industrial relations probe into an issue of alleged financial impropriety when it hired a PricewaterhouseCoopers forensic expert to investigate its slop oil storage tank MP6 incident in 2014, which the company has refused to make public or even disclose its contents.

    And as previously pointed out by this reporter, the underlying thread throughout the Petrotrin narrative— be it Sealine No 10, storage tank MP6 or the Soldado deal—is to proceed with business as usual. The current Petrotrin culture resists scrutiny, and attempts to force accountability on issues of public interest are met with a flurry of legal letters. And except for public statements denying any wrongdoing, the State company has largely remained mum on the issue of alleged corruption in the $300 million-plus oil-production contract.

    Petrotrin, which has presided over a litany of unprecedented envi­ron­mental oil spills and significant and continuing delays in completing important refinery upgrades, has recorded significant losses over the last year, yet for reasons not disclosed, has failed to pursue recovery of its US$1.25 million improperly paid to Maritima.

    The company has repeatedly denied that general man of business Jeff Clark “is, was, or ever at any time, been an agent of Petrotrin or authorised to act on its behalf for the return, recovery or direction of any of the funds to any destination accounts regarding Petrotrin and Maritima.” Yet still, the company has failed to act on the disclosure of its Mexican contractor, Delgado, and the beneficiary of the illegal payment that he complied with “instructions” to return the company’s money to two private bank accounts in Port of Spain.

    But perhaps the answer to the company’s disinterest in pursuing recovery of its money—especially in the current hard times of a slump in oil prices and swirling red ink—lies with the rather entangled Soldado deal itself, from the unsolicited Mexican late-night Sunday offer to Petrotrin’s failure to act quickly or at all against Maritima, in the more than two years since the State company fired its Mexican contractor for breach of contract.

    —Continues next Sunday

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