NOT PAID FOR SEVERAL MONTHS: Boxu Potts

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Potts: TTBBC starved for funds

By Mark Pouchet mark.pouchet@trinidadexpress.com

Special adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC), Boxu Potts says the Board has been starved of funds by the Ministry of Sport and is currently owed over $5 million allocated by the Ministry for the 2012-2013 financial period and the financial period October 2013- February 2014.
The effect, Potts said, is that boxing camps at Alicia’s Guest House in St Ann’s and in Marabella have been closed because of lack of funds. He said school programmes have also been shut down because the TTBBC is unable to pay coaches.
Potts said the TTBBC was allocated $4,994,000.00 for the fiscal year, October 2012- September 2013, with $918,345.01 being deducted for previous expenditure. The balance is $4,075,654.99.
Potts presented a breakdown of expenditure up until September 2013, amounting to $254,639.69. He is questioning where the balance of the money, $3,831,014.31, intended for camps and community programmes for the socially displaced and vulnerable, has gone.
“It has just disappeared into one big black hole, nobody knows where that money has gone,” Potts said.
Of the current fiscal period, October 2013 to September 2014, Potts said that out of another $4 million allocation, one tranche of $416,000 was paid in October 2013, while $78,500 was issued for payment of TTBBC staff.
Potts said the TTBBC had repeatedly asked permanent secretary Ashwin Creed why the money was not being disbursed.
Several calls to Creed’s mobile number went unanswered, while a text message seeking an interview with Creed on the financial issues raised by Potts was not returned.
Potts said there was also the issue of the suspended TTBBC chairman Deopersad Ramoutar currently using a cell phone paid for by the Board.
He said the issue of unauthorised cheques paid to Ramoutar is currently being investigated by local law enforcement officers.
Potts said he himself had not been paid for several months and is owed nearly $200,000 in salary. He said he had hired Douglas Mendes to treat with the issue of his salary payments.
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