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Boodram fails to pay at Rienzi (with CNC3 video)
Police had to restrain a group of angry people at Rienzi Complex, Couva yesterday when businesswoman Vicky Boodram failed to show up to repay funds for a cruise ship trip which never materialised in 2010.
Boodram, 39, who was charged with 109 counts of fraud, money laundering and forgery, met with and promised last week to pay about 1,000 passengers millions of dollars in refunds yesterday. She vowed to provide each passenger with bank manager’s cheques which were to be collected at Rienzi Complex from 8 am. However nobody was paid.
Many of the potential passengers, many of whom came from Arima, Port-of-Spain and Rio Claro, turned up from 7 am but never saw Boodram, who is on $12 million bail. Instead, they met Boodram’s 66-year-old father Ramjass. He told them that his daughter was in the bank and he could not promise that everyone would get cheques.
One passenger Carlton Scott said: “When I got here, her father told us Vicky collected only 200 cheques. The crowd was so angry but lucky the police came and restrained a few people.” A notice dated January 7, was subsequently stuck on the wall of the complex explaining that people will now be paid on February 16 and 17 from 8.30 am to 1 pm.
“This has become necessary due to the large volume of certified cheques that are to be prepared. Over 1,000 certified cheques are being prepared and due to the Carnival weekend approaching, the financial institutions that are being utilised have not been able to produce that quantum in time for the originally scheduled date of Friday,” the notice stated.
However, Shariffa Baldeo of Rio Claro said she was dissatisfied with Boodram’s latest unfulfilled promise. “Why can’t the government do something about this? She told us to come last week Sunday for our money at Capital Plaza in Port-of-Spain. We left Rio Claro and went there only to be told that we will get money today in Rienzi. Now that we are here, she is telling us to come back next week,” Baldeo said.
Baldeo said the majority of people who lost their money in the ill-fated cruise trip were old people. “This is their hard-earned money gone down the drain. We want our money back,” Baldeo said.
Boodram was arrested in August 2012. It is alleged that between May 2010 and January 2011, at La Romaine, Boodram, with intent to defraud, procured and caused to be paid, delivered or transferred to herself, her estranged husband Ravi Arjoonsingh and Boodram's Travel & Tours and Ship Ahoy Cruises, monies totalling $1,386,950, by virtue of a Wells Fargo standard letter of credit.
The charges alleged that she purchased a Mercedes-Benz motor car and a house and the land it is built on in Palmiste. Vicky, along with her estranged husband are already facing 19 similar charges in the Port-of- Spain Magistrates Court. She is also facing three money-laundering charges, and three other fraud charges which are pending in the Siparia Magistrates’ Court.
Efforts to contact Boodram for comment on her cellular phone proved futile yesterday as her phone was switched off.
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