Specialist police prosecutors from abroad were quietly ushered into this country last year to help form a secret, yet-to-be named unit of investigators preparing major corruption cases.
The detentions of former attorney general Anand Ramlogan and UNC Senator Gerald Ramdeen are said to be just two of several complex cases involving high profile personalities on both sides of the political divide, according to two high-level sources who spoke with Guardian Media yesterday.
The sources said these cases should be brought to a close soon thanks to months of work by this special police unit. To strengthen its ability to effectively prosecute these cases, the TTPS looked to the UK to recruit a specialist firm of criminal attorneys. The attorneys were officially made members of the police service last September.
Former members of the Serious Fraud Office in the UK, who have spent most of their careers prosecuting complex fraud and corruption cases, were also brought into T&T to be part of the special unit. It took a team of more than two dozen forensic officers, who are housed at Tower C at the International Waterfront Centre in Port-of-Spain, to bring the investigation to this stage, the sources told Guardian Media.
Some 32 forensic officers from Deloitte and Touche, who also worked on the Clico investigation, are also part of the team.
“People who have corrupt ways should be worried. The rest of the work that is coming is very close at hand,” an informed source told Guardian Media.
The unit is said to be properly vetted, with all members being “polygraphed and tested.”
Meanwhile, Pamela Elder, SC, who is representing Ramlogan, is questioning the police’s conduct in the ongoing investigation into corruption allegations against him.
In a brief interview with Guardian Media as her client’s home in south Trinidad was being searched by detectives of the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (ACIB), Elder described the investigation as fumbling and floundering.
She said: “You don’t arrest a man and 14 hours later you search his home. Common sense will tell you that you should have had the evidence in hand before you arrested him.”
Elder also complained over the fact that investigators had not interrogated Ramlogan up to that time, although he was detained while attempting to board a flight bound for the British Virgin Islands (BVI) early yesterday. She described the officers’ conduct as oppressive.
“He was arrested before sunrise and it is almost before sunset and nothing meaningful has been done. I have been waiting all day to represent my client on criminal charges,” she said.