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Airport looking into bogus degree
Denyse Renne email@example.com
The Airports Authority’s legal department is now examining the issue of a false degree certificate submitted by former deputy manager of airport operations Dayanand Birju.
Speaking with the Express on Tuesday, chairman of the AATT board Trevor Benjamin said: “Our legal department is dealing with it and the AATT board will be guided by what is said.”
Benjamin said that last weekend the matter of Birju’s degree certificate from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in the United States, which was examined and determined to be “not authentic” by a university official, was taken to the AATT’s legal department for advice.
“I asked them to return to me in the shortest possible time frame,” Benjamin said.
An Express investigation revealed that Birju submitted the “certificate” to the AATT in order to obtain a managerial position.
The certificate stated he had a Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts.
Calls to the university revealed that, after diligent checks, the certificate purporting to be issued from the institution was not authentic.
The Express learnt that from February 1, 2012, all management at AATT received an increase in salary following negotiations.
Birju’s basic monthly salary then catapulted to $41,500. He received an acting allowance of $16,000, entertainment allowance of $2,000 and housing allowance of $4,000. Collectively he received $63,500 a month.
According to documents obtained by the Express, Birju was offered the position of deputy general manager, Operations on August 10, 2010.
His basic monthly salary then was $24,000. This figure did not include allowances.
A copy of his contract showed perks such as travelling, entertainment, telephone and housing allowances. The allowances were $3,000, $500, $350, $1,500, respectively, per month. Collectively Birju’s pay package while holding the post of deputy general manager was $29,350.
On January 16, 2012, the AATT board appointed Birju to act as general manager. His compensation included a monthly salary of $32,000, transport facilities of $3,000, entertainment allowance— $1,500 and housing allowance— $3,000. Collectively he received $39,500.
Following the Express story, Minister of Transport Stephen Cadiz said he had not yet decided if a police report should be lodged since, in his opinion, police involvement would only add greater embarrassment to Birju and his family.
Birju was the second AATT employee to have resigned over questionable qualifications.
In June, former deputy chairman of the AATT Kurt Ajodha tendered his resignation after it was discovered he was not academically qualified for the post, despite him saying otherwise on his CV.
Ajodha was appointed in January 2012. He received a stipend of $7,000 a month.
Sources say despite resigning his post, management at AATT wrote Ajodha last week requesting that he return the company’s cellphone and Samsung Galaxy tablet.
In a brief interview with the Express earlier this week, Cadiz said he had requested that checks be conducted on “every single executive under my agency”.
“You cannot be doing this, people work hard getting their degrees and someone cannot be making up degrees and submitting false ones,” he said.