refused to respond: Dayanand Birju

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Probe launched into ex-airports acting GM

By By DENYSE RENNE denyse.renne@trinidadexpress.com

An investigation launched into former acting general manager at the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) Dayanand Bir­ju is proceeding.

Sources told the Sun­day Express police investigators visited Piarco Inter­national Airport last Wednesday and collected documents which were allegedly submitted by Birju when he applied for the job.

AATT sources say in

November last year, detec­tives attached to Fraud Squad visited them and requested certain doc­u­men­tation.

While there, detectives spoke with senior per­sonnel, as well as former chairman of the AATT Trevor Benjamin.

Benjamin, sources say, assured the detectives he will co-operate with the investigation.

Birju had submitted a certificate—which stated he had a BSc in com­pu­ter science from the University of Massachusetts Boston in the United States—to the AATT in order to obtain a managerial position.

Calls to the university by the Sun­day Express revealed the certificate purporting to be issued from the in­sti­tution was not authen­tic.

The police investigation is being spearheaded by ACP Crime Glenn Hackett.

Hackett, sources say, had initiated the inves­tigation and mandated detectives attached to the Fraud Squad probe the matter.

Transport Minister Ste­phen Cadiz has stated in previous interviews that Birju and his relatives were

embarrassed over the expose.

“I am not sure what we will do, whether we will report and let the police deal with it or consider that Mr Birju has sent a message, that if found out, you (the public) will be very embarrassed,” Cadiz had told the Express on September 27.

Contacted on Friday afternoon and asked whether detectives have interviewed him, Birju said: “I have

no comment to make to you what­so­-

­ever.”

Asked whether he was ready to

speak about the circumstances sur­rounding his resignation and the issue of his certificate, Birju disconnected the call.

During its investigation, the Sun­day Express called the university and was told after d iligent checks, the certificate purporting to be issued from the institution was not authentic.

When the issue was raised pub­licly, officials at AATT contacted the university, querying the certificate, and were told by university personnel any information pertaining to Birju would need his permission.

Birju’s basic monthly salary at AATT before he resigned the position was $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 per month.

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