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Tuesday 19 November 2019
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Police to probe Calabar Foundation cheques

ACTING Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has appointed a team of officers to initiate a criminal investigation into the issuance of two cheques made out to the Calabar Foundation in which the spouse of former Minister of Housing Marlene Mc Donald is a director.

On Thursday, Williams sent a letter to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley indicating that a criminal investigation has been launched into the Calabar Foundation.

Newsday understands that the police team consisting of officers from the Fraud Squad and Anti- Corruption Bureau, and legal officers from the Police Service’s legal department will form the new unit to conduct the investigation.

Mc Donald, her spouse Michael Carew, his brother Lennox as well as officials of the Ministry of Community Development are expected to be interviewed.

Bank records will also be sought. The Calabar Foundation was incorporated August 24, 2010.

Two cheques were issued by McDonald, who was then Minister of Community Development, one cheque was issued on May 12, 2010 and collected on May 12, 2010. Another in the sum of $375,000 and one for $200,000 were issued but the requests were made on April 27 and May 4, 2010.

The cheques were deposited to the Calabar Foundation via a Royal Ban of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT) account on September 9, 2010.

The money was made available to the Calabar Foundation before the company was incorporated, and the cash was supposed to be used to build a community centre in the Laventille area.

No such community centre was ever built and it remained unclear yesterday if the cheques were ever cashed by members of the Calabar Foundation.

Yesterday Head of Fixin’ TT Kirk Waithe said he was pleased to learn that the police had launched a criminal investigation into the Calabar Foundation and said that he had provided several documents to the police for this criminal probe to take place.

He said that the documents were made available to him and a team of persons interested in stamping out corruption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Waithe said that he had also written to the Clerk of the House, Jason Elcock requesting information on the salaries and staff of people employed in 40 constituencies.

We hope that when we get the information there will be nothing ontoward found, good or bad will be made available to the media and by extension to the public.

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