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Petrotrin expands fake oil probe

Sunday, September 24, 2017
To avoid another fake oil fiasco

Although Petrotrin recently presented the Energy Ministry with a report on the alleged “fake oil” issue, the company is conducting further investigations into other aspects of the matter.

This was confirmed by Ministry officials following comments by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Thurdsday. In confirming that he had spoken to Petrotrin employee idya Deokiesingh after news of the matter broke, Dr Rowley said the company’s investigations are on-going.

A Petrotrin employee is alleged to have been involved in the volume discrepancy matter concerning alleged under-supply and over-payment from a private operator. The allegations were made in an August 17 Petrotrin internal audit report made public by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Following those revelations, Energy Minister Franklin Khan said Petrotrin’s board met for two days on the matter last week and a report was subsequently given to him on September 14. On the status of that report, the ministry confirmed that investigations are continuing on “some more . . . additional issues.” However, ministry offcials declined to give details of the issues and had no word on when the entire probe will be completed.

In a statement last Friday, Petrotrin said: “The company has no comments at this time as investigations are ongoing.”

Since the matter was made public, Deokiesingh, a defeated PNM 2015 election candidate, has been keeping a low profile and is reported to be on leave from his job. He didn’t answer calls yesterday.

Questions were sent to Petrotrin on whether Deokiesingh is on leave, for how long and if the leave was approved . On that Petrotrin also had no comment. Officials would only say that nvestigations are ongoing.

However, sources said top company officials had mandated a probe of how the internal audit report was leaked and the audit team might be targeted.