Pan Trinbago vice-president Byron Serrette yesterday resigned after he allegedly discovered a trail of questionable financial transactions and a large and growing debt within the organisation.
Among the issues which caused Serrette's unexpected departure was the alleged purchase and intended use of two luxury vehicles–a BMW X5 and an Audi Q7–directly from London with PanTrinbago funding to the tune of almost $94,086 up to the point it was discovered.
Serrette, who appeared on CNC3's Morning Brew yesterday, said over the past two years and in the last six months in particular, he had seen certain things going on and had been asking questions with no answers.
"Things are coming to the executive, decisions are being taken by some kind of cabal," Serrette claimed.
He said in June he submitted a 15-page memorandum to Pan Trinbago's president Keith Diaz while on a retreat. The memo, he said, contained a series of concerns and questions surrounding the operations of the organisation.
"It dealt with finance and governance and pointed out weaknesses that needed to be strengthened but my memo was discarded and I began to come under more pressure than before.
"I was ostracised and that's when I started to do my own investigations and became very much appalled to some of the findings," Serrette said.
"I cannot be a part of this because I maintain integrity. Having worked at Customs and Excise Division for 35 years, I still consider myself a law enforcement officer and I still maintain my integrity."
In his resignation letter addressed to Pan Trinbago secretary Richard Forteau, dated October 28, Serrette explained:
"I have had cause to do some investigation in aspects of our operations. This became necessary because of a patent lack of communication and information at the central executive. What I have unearthed is a trail of questionable financial transactions and a large and growing debt.
"These findings, together with the intentional disregard that was shown to my efforts at addressing and correcting our dysfunction, as submitted in my presentation at the Central Executive Retreat on June 19, 2016, leave me with no other option but to remove myself from this administration of Pan Trinbago."
Serrette disclosed the results of an audit he received at the organisation's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday, which stated Pan Trinbago was very close to insolvency.
"It's in the red, in tune to millions of dollars and I will not be part of the executive if the organisation is going in that direction. It seems as they don't understand what insolvency means," he said.
Asked if other executive members agreed or disagreed with the allegations, Serrette replied: "There are a few who do but then there are the few, the core, who are in blind support. I told them to come down on the side of what is right."
Serrette blamed Diaz for what was happening in the organisation and believes that in order for it to move forward and for pan's advancement, Diaz must go.
"I blame everything squarely on him (Diaz). There were some weaknesses on accountancy officers and collusion by other members of the executive and I want Keith Diaz removed as president," Serrette said.
Documents obtained by Guardian Media Limited's CNC3 and T&T Guardian, including copies of emails and money wire transfer documents, showed the alleged questionable purchases of the BMW X5 and an Audi Q7.
In an email, dated December 31, 2015, a request was made of a senior PanTrinbago official to transfer, via Western Union, a �5,000 deposit "as soon as possible in order for us to be able to purchase the rims and tyres in time and to be able to ship the car on January 8, 2016. The remaining balance will be �11,000 GBP."
In one of the importation documents seen by the T&T Guardian, there was a home address of a PanTrinbago official.
Contacted yesterday for comment about the allegations made by Serrette, PanTrinbago president Keith Diaz said he had no comment to give to the media.