Wednesday, February 21, 2018 cop confirms bomb scare at head office

THE Ministry of Sport’s head office on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, was evacuated around noon yesterday following a bomb threat.

Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, who con-

firmed the incident, said, “It was a bomb scare. We sent in bomb technicians to monitor and it was just that, a bomb scare, so there is no merit in the rumours.”

The rumour he was referring to was that three men had gone to the ministry, demanding payment owed to them, causing panic among staff.

The Express visited the building and the few employees outside said they had no comment.

Officers from the Guard and Emergency Branch were stationed outside the building. 

When asked, an officer replied, “It looks like nothing happened here but we just making sure.”

The Express telephoned Minister of Sport Anil Roberts for comment but the call went unanswered.

The incident comes on the heels of an investigation into the Sport Ministry’s controversial LifeSport programme, which is has been removed to the Ministry of National Security while an audit is being undertaken.

LifeSport was the brainchild of Roberts.

It is one of the Government’s most expensive social programmes, which was designed to target criminals and put them on the path to a straight life.

The programme, which was started in 2012, had a budget of $6,647,000.

LifeSport pays $1,500 a month to “criminal elements” to get them interested in sports. A daily meal allowance of $75 is catered for, but a contract is usually given to a catering company to provide meals for the participants.

According to Ministry of Sport officials, the programme is supposed to exist in 33 centres and have 60 people at each centre. A stipend is paid to the participants of the programme and an allowance of $30,000 is paid to a co-ordinator of the programme. 

The funding and recipients of LifeSport were identified in an investigative series by the Express newspapers. 

National Security Minister Gary Griffith said LifeSport will now be directed by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.