By RIA TAITT, www.newsday.co.tt
The assets of former Finance Minister, Brian Kuei Tung, one of the accused in the Piarco Airport conspiracy, have been frozen. Yesterday the State obtained a restraining order freezing all Kuei Tung's assets, which include properties and vehicles. The application for the Order followed certain information obtained about Kuei Tung and his assets.
The order restrains Kuei Tung, or his agents, from "disposing of, or dealing with, or diminishing the value of any of his property whether it is within or outside Trinidad and Tobago, whether held by him solely or jointly with others, or held by others on his behalf." Sources said although the order took immediate effect locally and overseas. The application was presented by attorneys Douglas Mendes and Michael Quamina before Justice Mira Dean-Armorer. It was presented ex parte in private chambers.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Kuei Tung can now apply for the order to be varied, or discharged. A legal source said last night that freezing assets in cases of this nature is meant to stop persons from liquidating their assets in an attempt to prevent recovery by the State, if the person is found guilty. Sources said this is likely to be the first of several other such applications to be made by the State. So far ten persons, including two former Cabinet ministers and two former Airport Authority chairmen, are before the court facing charges arising out of the investigations in the airport matter. The charges followed a Commission of Inquiry that lasted almost a year headed by former Chief Justice Clinton Bernard.
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