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6 arrested in connection with Airport project

Brian Kuei Tung and his fiancee Renee Pierre were the last of six high-profile persons, including former PNM minister Russell Huggins, to voluntarily hand in themselves to the Anti-Corruption Bureau yesterday in response to warrants for their arrest.

Kuei Tung and Pierre, a businesswoman who owns a gym and an advertising company, arrived in the same vehicle at the Richmond Street, Port of Spain, headquarters of the Bureau at around 2:36 p.m.

Huggins, an attorney and former national security minister in the first Manning administration; businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh, Managing Director of Northern Construction Ltd; John Henry Smith, CEO of the Maritime Group of Companies and Amrith Maharaj, Secretary and Financial Director of Northern Construction.

Altogether, a total of 45 charges were brought against the six and two private companies, Northern Construction Ltd of Savonetta, Point Lisas and the Maritime subsidiary, Fidelity Finance and Leasing Company Ltd of Maritime Plaza, Barataria. Some of the charges were the first to be brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000, a piece of legislation passed by the Panday government in which Kuei Tung was minister of finance while others were brought under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

All the charges stem from alleged misdeeds arising out of contract awards in the $1.4 billion Piarco Airport project during the period 1996 to 2000. The charges include: conspiracy to defraud the government of Trinidad and Tobago, corruption, transferring and disguising funds (commonly known as money laundering) and misbehaviour in public office.

Superintendent Maurice Piggott, head of the Bureau, told members of the media that the arrests were as a result of "two years of intensive investigations" and the "tireless" work by his 21-member team of officers who were assisted by Canadian forensic investigators Robert Lindquist, Hans Marschdorf and Rodney Stamler.

Asked whether more arrests were on the cards, a weary-looking Piggott responded: "Let me answer you this way, the investigation is not yet completed. It is still ongoing."

The charges

Brian Kuei Tung
10 charges. Bail: $1.6m
4 on misbehaviour in public office
5 on corruption.
1 on conspiracy to defraud the Government of T&T of $7m.

Russell Huggins
7 charges. Bail: $1.6m
3 on aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.
3 on corruption.
1 on money laundering.

Ishwar Galbaransingh
8 charges. Bail: $3m
- 2 on illegal illegal transfer of funds.
- 4 on aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.
- 1 on corruption.
- 1 on conspiracy to defraud the government of T&T of $7m.

Amrith Maharaj
8 charges. Bail: $1.6m
4 on aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.
2 on corruption.
1 on money laundering.
1 on conspiracy to defraud the Government of T&T of $7m.

Renee Pierre
3 charges. Bail: $1m
2 on corruption.
1 on aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.
1 on conspiracy to defraud the Government of T&T of $7 m.

John Henry Smith
7 charges. Bail: $2 m
3 aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.
2 on corruption.
1 on conspiracy to defraud the Government of T&T of $7m
1 on aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.

Companies charged

Northern Construction Ltd
- Obtaining $19m by false pretences among other charges.

Fidelity Finance
- Corruption
- Conspiracy to defraud the Government of T&T
- Aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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