Last update: 09-Dec-2013 5:10 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Sookoo under probe—Minister
The Fraud Squad is probing allegations against Dhano Sookoo, president of the Agricultural Society of T&T, including a claim that she paid herself fees of thousands of dollars, said Agriculture Minister Devant Maharaj yesterday “There are serious matters which are presently engaging the police Fraud Squad with regard to Ms Sookoo and the running of the organisation,” Maharaj added in yesterday’s Senate budget debate. He said complaints were against Sookoo by board members over alleged financial irregularities.
Maharaj added: “This Government acted and immediately began an audit of the ASTT and engaged the Finance Ministry when we were told she paid herself fees in excess of thousands of dollars the Finance Ministry responded by classifying the board. “We don’t embrace people against whom there are allegations of impropriety like my friends there,” he said, pointing to the PNM. “We distance ourselves from such people.”
He said the ASTT legislation, which, he said, elected and didn’t appoint the board, was one of many pieces of law in the agricultural sector that needed changing since the ASTT Act went all the way back to almost 1920 and was among agricultural issues ignored by the PNM. He added: “Due to the latitude in that act, anything can go on.” Maharaj sustained picong on the issue from PNM Senator Shamfa Cudjoe, who during her contribution told Mahara: “Is Sookoo for you! Is Sookoo for you!”
Maharaj clashed with PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds on the latter’s claim that 100 acres of land was given to one Danny Enterprises. He said there was no such lease to Danny Enterprises in his ministry or elsewhere. Hinds, however, challenged Maharaj to say the Government had not engaged in any such negotiation and had not offered plots to the company. Maharaj said while Hinds had made an unequivocal statement that the company had received 100 acres, he stressed it had not received a single plot.
Hinds attempted to interject but Maharaj said loudly: “I’m not giving way. I’m not giving way. He has made an egregious error in his statement. “Danny Enterprises has no lease. The ministry has engaged in no activity via Cabinet approval for a lease for Danny Enterprises.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.