Trinidad and Tobago Bulletin Board
Homepage | Weblog | Trinbago Pan | Trinicenter | TriniView | Photo Gallery | Forums

View Trinidad and

Trinidad and Tobago News Forum

Dhansook withdraws bribery charges
In Response To: ACCUSER: I LIED ()

Saturday 30th April 2005

PNM councillor Dansam Dhansook yesterday withdrew his allegations that he paid bribes for a seismic survey to Minister of Works Franklin Khan and Minister of Energy Eric Williams. The two ministers held a media conference yesterday at the Red House after a sitting of the House of Representatives to refute the charges where they presented Dhansook's recantation. The allegation came to light on Wednesday when Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar read out to the House of Representatives a letter written by Dhansook to Prime Minister Patrick Manning, claiming to have paid Williams a $75,000 bribe, and mentioning an alleged bribe also paid to Khan. The two ministers had promptly denied the charges.

Yesterday, Dhansook twice cancelled a media conference he had arranged at Crowne Plaza, and could not otherwise be reached by reporters. But at their news conference, Khan and Williams presented an affidavit which they said was from Dhansook. The document was dated nine months prior, bearing the curious date of July 6, 2004. Also, the signature was vastly different to that on the initial letter making the bribery allegations. In the supposed affidavits, Dhansook allegedly said that in February, 2004, he had sent Manning the letter of allegation and copies of six cheques made payable to Franklin Khan each averaging $20,000.

The document says Dhansook's company was fired from a seismic project at Rio Claro and he became frustrated at the inability of his long-time acquaintance, Khan, to assist him upon becoming minister. In the affidavits, Dhansook allegedly said: "I hereby unequivocally withdraw each and every such allegation and/or implications of fact. I further state that the said cheques referred to represent reimbursements to Minister Khan of monies he advanced to me in 2002." Curiously, the affidavits made no reference to Eric Williams and failed to retract Dhansook's original allegations of receiving death threats. Khan yesterday again denied the charges at the news conference.

"It pains me that my confidence was betrayed by someone I considered a friend and colleague, especially since Mr Dhansook has used the proceeds of cheques sent to me in repayment of a personal loan granted to him in 2002 prior to my entry into government, in an effort to smear my name." He said he had declared the loan repayments to the Integrity Commission. Khan said his name would be cleared and he would cooperate with that body. "I have retained legal counsel in this matter and I intend to avail myself of all my options to ensure my full and complete vindication of these baseless charges."

Eric Williams at the news conference also denied the allegations against him. Williams said he "totally and comprehensively reject the allegations of impropriety" made against him by Dhansook. He said he had always upheld integrity and morality. "I have never received a cent from Mr Dansam Dhansook, as payment of any bribes, or any consideration whatsoever in relation to the performance of my duties." Answering questions, Khan said: "I have nothing to hide. As far as I'm concerned I have nothing to answer to. So there's no issue. If the Integrity Commission summons myself and Mr Williams, obviously we'll comply. I think it's a non-issue, to say the least." Williams said Dhansook's letter was written the same month Williams allowed a foreign company to end his contract.

UNC: Dhansook's 'apology' strange

The seismic survey scandal involving accusations of sabotage, bribery and death threats, took an interesting turn yesterday when Works Minister Franklin Khan claimed that PNM Councillor Dansam Dhansook, has since apologised to him for attempting to "sully his character" and has provided a sworn affidavit dated July 6, 2004, recanting allegations he (Dhansook) made in a letter to Prime Minister Patrick Manning in February 2004. Opposition Senator Wade Mark thought the whole scenario was "strange," and opted to "wait for Mr Dhansook to inform the population if he did in fact renege his allegations." Mark asserted that this was essential to ensure that the circumstances surrounding his recant did not involve "intimidation, threats or terrorism."

"Something is amiss here," said Mark when he spoke to Newsday yesterday. He asked, "why would Mr Dhansook and his wife now say that their lives are under threat, if he did this affidavit since 2004?" He stressed the need for a forensic investigation into all the allegations. "We are renewing our call for the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Fraud Squad to investigate the matter, and lay charges if there is evidence." Siparia MP, Kamla Persad Bissessar, who revealed the letter to Parliament on Wednesday, echoed Mark's sentiments. She said, "I find it very strange. But I am not satisfied with the explanations."

No-show Dhansook


PNM councillor Dansam Dan-sook failed to turn up at media conferences which he had called yesterday at Crowne Plaza. All attention was on Dhansook after a letter allegedly written by him to Prime Minister Patrick Manning alleging bribe-taking by Minister of Energy Eric Williams and Minister of Works Franklin Khan was read out in Parliament on Wednesday by Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The duo had denied the charges. Yesterday morning the media turned out in force to hear more from the lone PNM councillor on Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation. Two radio stations even began to broadcast "live" from the venue.

But at the 10 am scheduled start of the conference, the event planner, Wendy-Ann Garcia, notified reporters that she had just spoken to a Councillor Pierre, on the phone, who said Dhansook would be arriving in 15 minutes time. But at 10.15 am there was no appearance of Dhansook. At 10.30 am, Garcia told reporters that she had been instructed to reschedule the news conference to 1 pm. But just before the rescheduled news conference, Garcia called up media houses to say the event had been put off until further notice. Yesterday marked the third day that reporters had experienced problems contacting Dhansook.

On Wednesday, when Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar read Dhansook's letter aloud in the House of Representatives alleging bribe payment to two Government ministers, Dhan-sook declined to respond to media queries. On Thursday, reporters who turned up at a meeting of the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation were again unable to talk to Dhansook as he failed to attend. Yesterday, reports were that Dhansook's lawyers advised him not to proceed with the news conference.

Police Protection for Dhansook

By Rayden Boodan

The Opposition United National Congress is calling for 24-hour police protection for PNM's Ecclesville Councillor Dansam Dhansook, who was thrust into the political limelight after a letter he wrote implicating Works Minister Franklin Khan and Energy Minister Eric Williams in a possible corruption scheme, surfaced in the Parliament on Wednesday. In his letter to Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, Dhansook alleged that both ministers accepted bribes from him concerning contracts for a seismic survey to be undertaken in Khan's Ortoire/Mayaro constituency.

In his letter, Dhansook also reported there was "a death threat hanging over my head" and he therefore took "the precaution of sending copies of this correspondence to New York and to prominent persons locally in the event harm comes to me." He stressed, "I don't want to end up as Hansraj Sumairsingh," referring to the murdered former Chairman of the Rio Claro/Mayaro Regional Corporation. Dhansook's wife is also reported as saying that she fears for the lives of her husband and herself. At a media conference at the Opposition Leader's office yesterday, Siparia MP Kamla Persad Bissessar called on the Commissioner of Police to provide 24-hour security for Dhansook and his family.

She also categorically stated that the UNC has no intention to lobby or seek an audience with Dhansook. She questioned why the case was not referred to the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Squad for investigation, since they have the capacity to conduct forensic audits into bank accounts. Asserting that the UNC has no confidence in the Integrity Commission, Bissessar said, "we get the impression that the Integrity Commission is being used as a smokescreen." Senator Wade Mark, who was also present at the media conference, lamented what he described as, "widespread, and rampant corruption under the Patrick Manning administration."

He said that the files of four Government ministers are currently before the Integrity Commission: Health Minister John Rahael, (concerning a possible conflict of interest with the Chronic Disease Assistance Programme), Housing Minister Dr Keith Rowley (the Landate affair), and ministers Williams and Khan (with respect to the current seismic survey scandal). "This is unprecedented in the history of Trinidad and Tobago!" exclaimed Mark. He also slammed National Security Martin Joseph for trivialising the crime situation and described Education Minister Hazel Manning as "incompetent." Mark then demanded that the entire Government resign, and fresh elections be called.

The Dhansook affair

Rio Claro PNM councillor, Dansam Dhansook swore, an affidavit in July, 2004, withdrawing all the allegations he made against Works Minister Franklin Khan in a letter he sent to PM Patrick Manning. The letter was read in Parliament last Tuesday by UNC MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar. During a press briefing yesterday, Khan said he had retained legal counsel and would take all options to clear his name of the baseless allegations made by Dhansook. The full text of the affidavit and Khan's statement follow:


I, DANSAM DHANSOOK, of Clear Water Road, Rio Claro in the Island of Trinidad, do solemnly and sincerely declare that:

1. In or about February 2004 I wrote a letter by hand addressed to the Honourable Prime Minister wherein I made certain serious allegations against Minister Franklin Khan and enclosed in the said letter copies of six cheques made payable to Franklin Khan, namely cheque number 325 in the sum of $19,500, cheque number 471 in the sum of $20,000, cheque number 540 in the sum of $20,000, cheque number 723 in the sum of $21,000, cheque number 918 in the sum of $20,000 and cheque number 994 in the sum of $20,000.

2. I state that this letter was written to the Prime Minister shortly after my company, TT Geoseis Services Company Limited, was terminated from the seismic project at Rio Claro.

3. At that time I approached minister Khan (whom I have known for many years and who has, prior to his becoming a minister, assisted me during my career on occasions both financially and otherwise) and asked that he intervene on my behalf.

4. Minister Khan told me that he was unable to do so due to his position now as a minister and my company's contract was terminated.

5. I became totally frustrated at the unwillingness of Minister Khan to help, he being someone I have known for a long time and I failed to appreciate that he was unable to do so now that he was in politics. I therefore wrote the said letter to the Honourable Prime Minister out of frustration.

6. I hereby state that each and every one of the allegations and/or implications of fact made against the honourable minister Franklin Khan, in my undated letter to the honourable Prime Minister, is totally untrue and I hereby unequivocally withdraw each and every such allegation and/or implications of fact.

7. I state further that the said cheques referred to at Paragraph 1 hereof represent reimbursement to Minister Khan of monies he advanced to me in 2002. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and according to the Statutory Declarations Act, and I am aware that if there is any statement in this declaration which is false in fact, which I know or believe to be false or do not believe to be true, I am liable to fine and imprisonment.

DECLARED before me this 6th day of July 2004. Dhansam Dhansook.

Messages In This Thread

Dhansook withdraws bribery charges
PNM chairman to face corruption charges
Top PNM official charged with fraud
Frankie still smiling *LINK*
Trinidad and Tobago News

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright ©