Monday, January 22, 2018

Bogus degrees: ‘no Govt cover-up’

Government Minister Rudranath Indarsingh has said the Government was not lackadaisical in dealing with people with bogus degrees and that it was in the purview of the Commissioner of Police (CoP) to conduct investigations.

Opposition MP Colm Imbert moved a motion on the adjournment of the House to discuss what action Government was taking to deal with persons with bogus qualifications and forged documents.

Indarsingh, Minister in the Ministry of Finance who responded to Imbert, said the Government was not covering any person.

“This Government in no way has condoned or in any way attempted to be what I would call lackadaisical in its approach in dealing with persons who — alleged or embellished their resumes or CVs in relation to State enterprises and statutory authorities throughout Trinidad and Tobago,” Indarsingh said.

He said it was not in the hands of the National Security Minister to go after these persons but in the remit of the CoP and officers under his jurisdiction.

Imbert highlighted the number of persons who were found to have false certificates and degrees.

He said former acting general manager of Airports Operations at the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) Dayanand Birju’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in the United States was bogus.

Imbert pointed out the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) former chairman Omar Khan resigned his position amid reports of his involvement in the selection of contractors for the street-lighting project and also on his false qualifications.

Khan, he said, alleged to have a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UWI and an MBA from the Arthur Lok Jack School of Business, which were false.

Imbert said after Khan claimed he made a mistake and his Engineering degree was from the University of Manitoba though its distance learning programme, he (Imbert) personally contacted the university and found this to be false.

Imbert said the case of Reshmi Ramnarine and her false credentials as the former head of the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) was well known to the country.

He noted that former deputy chairman of the Airports Authority Kurt Ajodha claimed to have a Bachelor of Science degree from UWI, a Bachelor of Science degree from the New York Institute of Technology and he also claimed to be a certified project management consultant, all of which he personally checked and found to be false.