CLAIM IN QUESTION: The home owned by retired engineer Rawlins Rambaran at Light Pole 14, Tulsa Road in Penal.
Suruj denies corruption allegations:
Susan Mohammed email@example.com
MINISTER of Works Dr Surujrattan Rambachan yesterday denied allegations by interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner of his involvement in corruption in the construction of the $8 billion highway extension from Golconda to Point Fortin.
Rambachan, in a telephone interview, said he intends to take legal action against Warner.
Rambachan said, “Mr Warner is a reckless individual. There is no truth in what Mr Warner has said.”
During the launch of the ILP’s local government elections campaign in Tunapuna on Saturday night, Warner produced three copies for compensation for a property owned by Rawlins Rambaran, a retired engineer of Trinidad Broadcasting Company.
For the same plot of land, located in Penal, Warner said it was first valued at $7.1 million, then $10.9 million, and in a third valuation was at $15.3 million.
Warner claimed that Rambaran was a “very, very close friend” of Rambachan’s and alleged that a valuator and Rambaran met at Rambachan’s home between May 22 and May 25.
In response yesterday, Minister Rambachan said: “I am not good friends with Mr Rawlins Rambaran. I live in Trinidad and I know a lot of people. I know Mr Rambaran but I am not good friends with him, as he (Warner) has said.”
The Works Minister added, “The process by which acquisitions are done is by private treaty negotiations and evaluators who do evaluations for them. And the persons whose properties are to be acquired also has persons whom they have chosen.
“Negotiations take place between Nidco’s (National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd) evaluators and the people’s (land owners’) evaluators.”
Rambachan said his attorneys will today be requesting a copy of the tape of the ILP’s meeting from The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) and they “will be treating with the matter as legally appropriate”.
At Rambaran’s property at Tulsa Trace, Penal yesterday, a man told the Express that Rambaran was not at home and that he was not expected until late in the evening since he went on a fishing trip.