Wednesday, February 21, 2018

‘Stolen’ Range Rover still stuck in T&T


CONTROVERSIAL VEHICLE: The Range Rover licensed PCM 1100 belonging to Anna Deonarine, at the Mangra Trace police compound in Aranjuez, San Juan, where it has been impounded for the past two years. —Photo: ROBERT TAYLOR

Mark Fraser

Six months after announcing on a political platform his intention to return a “stolen” Range Rover to its rightful owner, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is yet to do so.

In an e-mailed response to the Express, the Attorney General said, following the death of Karl Hudson-Phillips QC, “I do not know which attorney from his firm has assumed conduct of this case which he was actively pursuing”.

The story of the allegedly “stolen” vehicle, which was purchased by deputy leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Anna Deonarine, made headlines during last year’s local government election.

Checks by the Express have revealed that the vehicle— licensed PCM 1100 —remains parked at the Mangra Trace police compound in Aranjuez, where it has been impounded for the past two years.

The black Range Rover, which was at the centre of controversy, was reported stolen from Lombard Vehicle Management in the United Kingdom between May 2008 and December 2008. The vehicle, which was repainted white, was then bought by Deonarine.

The issue was raised by Ramlogan, who said then St Joseph candidate and Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne had brought to his attention various discrepancies following the purchase of the vehicle.

When the Express contacted Deonarine over the weekend she directed queries to her attorney Keith Scotland.

Contacted, Scotland said: “As of today (Saturday) I have met with my client and we have gotten correspondence from the Police Complaints Authority following checks with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that there was no criminal culpability relative to my client.”

Scotland said the next course of action will include verifying whether or not there is official documentation “that this vehicle was stolen and, if not, what power is the State using in keeping the vehicle”.

He said Deonarine is anxious for closure.

“We have done our own checks on the vehicle and nothing untoward has happened. We will be writing to the State (Solicitor General’s Department) in an attempt to get documentation,” he said.

The Express also understands that letters have already been dispatched to Customs and Excise. Though the letters have been acknowledged, the requested documentation is yet to be provided.

Alleyne at the time had produced an original police file bearing documentation pertaining to the investigation.

When the Express contacted acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams last October as to how a police file was brandished on a political platform by a civilian, Williams said, “Now is election time, I will comment after.”

To date, he is yet to comment, despite being asked on numerous occasions.

Local attorney Jessica Maicoo was retained by Barry Hancock of BR International Ltd, who was acting on behalf of Lombard Vehicle Management (LVM), the legal owner of the vehicle.

Maicoo wrote to Attorney General Ramlogan on October 17, 2013, requesting that Range Rover Diesel Sport Estate 2.7 TDV6 S five-door automatic vehicle, locally licensed as PCM 1100 and bearing the Chassis/Frame N SALLSAA138A179106, be returned.