Thursday, January 18, 2018

...Gangar says little on issue

Accused of failing to disclose 4 accounts

FORMER energy minister Finbar Gangar yesterday opted to say little on the issue of National Security Minister Jack Warne's failure to declare his $.6 million Teacher's Credit Union (TCU) account to the Integrity Commission.

Gangar told the Express yesterday that his Integrity Commission matters "are now before the courts".

He however said he would adopt the position of former prime minister Basdeo Panday who was charged back in 2002 and later freed of failing to declare four bank accounts to the Integrity Commission.

On Monday, Panday said: " I think it will be very interesting to see what the Integrity Commission will do (regarding Warner). There may be one law for Panday and one law for Warner, so I will simply wait and see what is happening."

Panday was charged in September 2002 under the Integrity in Public Life Act of 1987, with failing to declare the assets of a London-based bank account, amounting to approximately $1.6 million.

The account was held at the National Westminster Bank in London for the years ending 1997, 1998 and 1999 while he was prime minister.

Last June, Panday was freed on the three charges.

Gangar, who served as Minister of Energy under the United National Congress administration during the term 1995 to 2000, was charged in 2004 with failing to disclose four bank accounts in 1999 to the Integrity Commission. The bank accounts were allegedly located in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and at branches of RBTT and Scotiabank in south Trinidad.

The matter was last heard on November 14 in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court.

On Monday night , Warner referred briefly to the matter, saying: "These are difficult times to save money even in a credit union, difficult time. I did not even know I had so much money."

Warner was speaking at the National Security Ministry's Pioneers and Innovators awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain.