Friday, February 23, 2018

Fraud Squad gets Boxing Board files

A dossier of documents containing financial statements and cheques related to the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC) have been handed over to detectives of the Fraud Squad.

Sources say the documents were from the TTBBC and sent anonymously to police headquarters on Park and Richmond Streets, Port of Spain. The Fraud Squad received the documents last Monday.

Copies were also sent to the Auditor’s General Department and the Integrity Commission.

Police sources say they received the dossier last Monday afternoon and have initiated an investigation into whether any offences were committed. Copies of 27 cheques signed and cashed by a senior board member were also included.

Part of the documents sources say show $4.75 million unaccounted for. The monies were given to the board by the Ministry in a bid to liquidate debts. Sources say Cabinet approved the allocation for boxing.

The debts included paying more than 24 coaches.

Sources say the names of companies which allegedly funneled the monies were also contained in the files.

It was only last week that an auditor from the Ministry of Sport visited the TTBCC headquarters on the Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna, seeking to get financial records. 

TTBCC vice chairman Imtiaz Zaid Mohammed declined the request stating written permission from the ministry was needed, since the board answers to Minister of Sport Anil Roberts. Last week, the Sunday Express exclusively reported that chairman of the TTBBC Deopersad Ramoutar was suspended following allegations of financial impropriety.

His suspension took effect on December 10, and came following a board of directors meeting held on October 16.

The board comprises of Mohammed, secretary Vijay Bhaggan, members Shama Stroude, Neale Greaves, Keven Antoine and Colin Mills.

Documents in the Sunday Express possession state that, on December 10, 2013, Mohammed wrote Ramoutar stating the decision to suspend was “unanimous”.

Mohammed in his letter expressed displeasure  when “it was discovered that you wrote cheques in your favour without the knowledge and approval of the Board”.

Copies of the cheques obtained by the Sunday Express — August 30, 2013- $3,000, October 15-$2,000, August 27-$5,000 and October 16-$10,000, showed Ramoutar’s name as receiving monies. The cheques were made out to Ramoutar and signed by himself and Greaves. A fifth cheque totaling $30,000 was made out to the Amateur Association of T&T (AATT).

Ramoutar in an interview with the Sunday Express said he made cheques out in his name and his actions were done above board .

Ramoutar said at present the TTBBC is fragmented and as far as he is concerned the board does not have any jurisdiction to suspend him.

Ramoutar could not be reached to respond to questions about the police investigation into the files.

Efforts to contact Roberts and Mohammed were unsuccessful.