Range Rover controversy makes UK news
The Range Rover controversy surrounding Independent Liberal Party (ILP) deputy leader Anna Deonarine made international news in the United Kingdom yesterday.
A report on the issue, headlined “Paradise island leader bought Range Rover stolen in Birmingham” was carried online on the Birmingham Mail’s website —www.birminghammail.co.uk
The report described Deonarine as a “leading politician” in Trinidad and Tobago and noted that Trinidad police seized the £75,000 vehicle from her two years ago, “despite the politician claiming she had innocently bought it on the island and had no idea it had been stolen”.
The report stated further that the row resurfaced last week, when lawyers representing Lombard (vehicle owner) formally demanded the return of the Range Rover, which is being kept in storage by the State.
“The tug-of-war has plunged the respected politician into controversy and caused shock waves in the West Indies,” stated the Mail report.
It added that the Range Rover was tracked down following an investigation by police in both countries into car ringing.
The report noted that the vehicle was stolen in Birmingham on May 15, 2008, by someone who had hired it using false personal details. It was sent abroad in December of that year.
According to the report, leading ‘motor detective’ Barry Hancock, of vehicle theft investigators BR International Ltd, was recruited by Lombard to investigate.
It stated that Hancock flew to Trinidad two months ago on the understanding the SUV would be handed over once he had identified it, but that has not happened.
“The Birmingham Mail has learnt Mr Hancock is also on the trail of ten other UK vehicles, believed to have been given new identities in the Caribbean,” stated the report.
“From day one there’s been a lack of cooperation over there,” said a source. “Mr Hancock has been on the trail for two years and we’re still no closer to a resolution” the report added.
Deonarine has maintained that she was a victim in this entire racket and disclosed that she wrote to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and head of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Gillian Lucky appealing for intervention to speedily resolve the matter.
An Express report had stated that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard earlier this year cleared Deonarine of criminal wrongdoing in relation to the purchase of the vehicle.
The disclosure came following the conclusion of an investigation conducted by the PCA into possible misconduct on the part of the police regarding the leak of the relevant police file.
Deonarine has since taken legal action for alleged defamatory statements published on the issue.