Sunday, January 20, 2013

PM Kamla connects the dots, shows MILSHIRV matter was a PNM family affair

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has told a political meeting in Tobago Orville London has many questions to answer about what she revealed was a PNM family affair with the MILSHIRV land deal.

MILSHRIV is a land development issue involving the PNM-controlled Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and companies connected to former PNM cabinet minister John Rahael. However, Persad-Bissessar revealed that it also has a Tobago connection involving a consultant for the THA, who earns $60,000 a month.

Under the MILSHRIV agreement the THA bought a parcel of land for $12 million and then leased it back to MILSHRIV at a peppercorn rate to build a facility that the THA will rent for over $300 million.

JYOTI has reproduced below the notes that the Prime Minister used at that meeting on Friday night when she also accused the Intergrity Commission of bias in dealing with the MILSHRIV matter. (click here for the full speech)

Permit me to share with you the latest twist in yet another scandal that has enveloped the London led THA.

You are all aware of the notorious and infamous Milshirv land deal involving the 3 acre parcel of land located at Shirvan Road.

You are all aware of the fact that London bought this 3 acre parcel of land from Dankett Ltd for TT$12 Mn on Nov 15, 2011.

He then leased it to Milshirv Ltd who then rented it back a mere 7 days later on Nov 21st , 2011 for $310 million.

You are all aware that Milshirv Ltd and Dankett Ltd are owned by the Rahael family in Trinidad.

What we did not know was that it is not simply one PNM family from Trinidad alone that profited but rather two PNM families were involved- One form Trinidad and one from in your own backyard right here in Tobago.

Fresh evidence has emerged to link a prominent PNM family from Tobago to this transaction.

It almost escaped us because no one had bothered to ask the question: how is it that Dankett Ltd was able to have such good fortune and good luck to secure a 3-acre parcel of land that it somehow KNEW would meet the needs of the THA?

For Dankett Ltd to know this they would have had to know that the THA would be willing to favourably consider locating and building an office complex on lands located in Shirvan.

This would require a most powerful and influential voice within the THA .

That voice would also need to carry strong weight and resonate loudly in the hierarchy of the PNM .

Tonight I shall disclose to you who were the owners of that 3-acre parcel that was sold to Dankett Ltd., which the THA bought for $12 million and then leased to Milshirv (which in turn rented it back to the THA for $310 million).

The first acre was owned by a one Denise Tsoi-a-Fatt. Do you know that name?

Well I will tell you. Denise Tsoi-a-Fatt is the PRO for the PNM in Tobago. She therefore had the political clout but did she have any connection with the THA?

I AM ADVISED that Ms Tsoi-a Fastt is in fact one of the highly paid “special advisers” hired by the THA at $60,000 per month! She is in fact the adviser to the THA Secretary for Health.

The three acres were individually owned by Denise Tsoi-a-Fatt, her mother Marjorie TSOI-A FATT AND her Uncle Conrad Young.

And guess what?

Dankett Ltd bought all three acres from Denise, her mother and uncle on the same day, September 7, 1999 by virtue of Deeds registered as No.18520, No.18521 and No.18523 of 1999.

We do not know what the total figure was as we have only been able to locate one of these Deeds but it will be interesting to know how much money Dankett Ltd paid for these lands.

What is curious about this sale is that it was not sold directly to Dankett Ltd, in fact, it was sold to Dankett via a company which acted as a “middle man”.

That company is called Aquila Ltd. In one Deed therefore, Denise and her family sold the three acres to Aquila Ltd which in turn, in the same Deed, simultaneously sold it to Dankett Ltd.

Tonight I ask why was the sale to the Rahael-owned Dankett Ltd being passed through a “middle man”? Was this being used to shield the sale to Dankett from the public eye? And if so, why? Why did they not simply convey the land directly to Dankett Ltd?

But the plot thickens, the “middle man” company. Aquila Ltd and their eventual purchaser, Dankett Ltd., appear to share an incestuous relationship.

The registered office address for Aquila Ltd is described in the Deed as #11-16 Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain.

The registered address for Dankett Ltd in the same deed is described as #11-13 Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain. This means that Dankett Ltd was housed at the same office address/building as part of Aquila Ltd. (16 includes 13)

Today I ask Mr. London to tell us what is the relationship between these two companies? Why was the Deed drafted in such an unusual manner for the Tsoi-a-Fatt family to sell their three acres to Dankett Ltd indirectly through another company-Aquila Ltd.

Tonight I wish to ask Mr. London to answer the following questions:
  1. Is Denise Tsoi-a –fatt the PRO for the PNM in Tobago?
  2. Is she in fact employed as one of your highly paid special advisers at sixty thousands dollars per month? And if so, how much is she paid?
  3. Did she have inside knowledge about the THA’s desire or plans to build an office complex in Shirvan Road? Did the THA even in fact have any such plans prior to Dankett approaching it as the new owner for the said 3 acre parcel
  4. If the THA did in fact intend to build an office complex on 3 acres of land in Shirvan Road, why did Denise and her family simply not sell their land directly to the THA?
  5. When the plan to construct the said office complex was made, did Denise disclose a conflict of interest because as a fact, she and her family were the owners of the subject parcel of land that was earmarked for the construction of the office complex?
This Milshirv matter was clearly a PNM family affair.

The lands were owned by the PNM’s PRO and her family, sold to a company owned by another PNM family and bought by the PNM’s head honcho, Mr. Orville London, who then leased and rented it back at the exorbitant price of $310 million. In other words, some $310 million dollars would have simply been shared amongst PNM family and friends.

I make no pronouncement or judgment on the bona fides of this transaction but will simply call upon the Integrity Commission to clear the air and announce with similar enthusiasm whether it has not yet also commenced an investigation into the complaint we have made against Mr .London concerning the Milshirv scandal.

Whilst the Integrity Commission was quick to announce and comment on the fact that complaints against the TOP was being investigated, the stony silence on this $310 Mn dollar transaction leaves a lot to be desired and will give rise to political bias.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai