RE: RANGE ROVER BELONGING TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Dear Ms Renne,
I have only just seen your questions. I am happy to respond.
YOUR VEHICLE PCR 2, A RANGE ROVER TDV VOGUE, ARE YOU IN POSSESSION OF IT?
Your colleague, Ms Anika Gumbs Sandiford has already interviewed the owner Mr. Dev Debideen in connection with this article so, as you well know, I am not in possession of same as it was sold to him sometime ago. She was invited to take a picture of the vehicle by Mr Debideen and did so. It will be transferred to the new owner in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement for sale at the relevant time.
Mr Debideen also owns another Range Rover along with other high-end luxury vehicles. This is also not the first time that he has purchased a vehicle from a government Minister as he had purchased former Minister Brian Keui Tung’s Mercedes. My vehicle was publicly advertised for sale in the daily newspapers and various car websites on-line.
FIXIN TNT ISSUED A RELEASE SEEKING CLARITY ON TWO RANGE ROVERS YOU PURCHASED. CAN YOU COMMENT ON DOCUMENTS OBTAINED FROM LICENSING WHICH SHOW BOTH YOUR RANGE ROVERS AS HAVING THE SAME ENGINE NUMBERS (ENGINE NUMBER 0439516368DT)
I am equally perplexed and concerned about the alleged (and obviously mistaken) recording of the same engine number for two different vehicles. No two new vehicles can ever carry the same engine number. That is impossible. I would not have been involved in the preparation of these documents though and have therefore written the Transport Commissioner Mr Ruben Cato to get some explanation and clarification. Licensing officers are supposed to check and verify the chassis and engine number on a vehicle before they register and license a vehicle and it is clear that there was some mistake on the part of the licensing office here. In the circumstances, I intend to have both vehicles re-inspected to prove that they do not in fact carry the same engine number.
I cannot respond to queries from “Fixin TnT” as I am not familiar with this organisation. I would be happy to do so if I can be provided with a copy of its constitution, the names of its executive members and some details as to how its leader was appointed as there are allegations that it is really an arm of the PNM in disguise funded by the PNM. The public does not know who the members of this organisation are but it is well financed and regularly runs full page ads against the government. I am concerned about money laundering and must be sure about the bona fides of an organisation before I can engage them.
WHERE DID YOU PURCHASE YOUR RANGE ROVER TD VOGUE AND WHAT WAS THE PRICE PAID?
As you are aware, Senator Hinds has publicly indicated that he has reported this very matter to the Integrity Commission and I will be happy to co-operate with any investigation. The details of these transactions were fully disclosed in my declarations to the Commission. I therefore await my day before the Integrity Commission so that I can be vindicated establish my innocence.
As indicated before, I was not involved in or responsible for the preparation of the documents relating to the importation of these vehicles. My predecessor, Mr John Jeremie exercised the same option to purchase tax free personal vehicles. He had purchased and registered BMW 2124, Range Rover PBZ 5831 and a BMW X5. I am certain that he can confirm that he was similarly not involved in the preparation of the relevant documents. (Strange that no similar investigation was done by the media.)
I am advised by the General Manager of Navarro’s Brokerage Mr Mark Navarro (680-2075) that you contacted him with respect to this matter. He indicated that he offered to meet to clarify some other questions your article raised and you claimed that you could not meet him until next Tuesday. I am concerned that you may have deliberately delayed this meeting to facilitate the publication of yet another biased Sunday Express front page story against me by the team of undercover PNM media agents (Irene Medina, Anika Gumbs-Sandiford, Denyse Renne and Sheila Rampersad).
Unfortunately, the Express is now campaigning for the PNM. In addition to its biased journalists, the cadre of weekly columnists are all opposed to the Government. Selwyn Ryan has openly endorsed Dr. Rowley to be the next Prime Minister, Sunity Maharaj, Raffique Shah, Michael Harris, Keith Subero, Winford James etc. have nothing negative to say about the PNM and ILP while their guns are fixed on the Government. I accept that the media is not under a duty to say positive things about the Government but criticism must be unbiased, fair and balanced. It must also reflect the diverse political and social opinions in our society and the Partnership. The Partnership got over 150,000 votes in the Local Government Election.
Last week, you made the false and mischievous statement that I was contacted “for clarification on the conflicting documents” (Ramlogan: A Fishing Expedition”). Permit me to record my grave concern about this incorrect assertion. As the exchange of emails will show, you posed certain abstract questions in isolation to any facts and I answered. Further questions were asked. It was clear that you were investigating something and I pointedly asked that I be told what the allegation was so that I could properly respond to same. This was never done.
As you know, I am of the view that you are part of the PNM brigade at the Express and have a personal and political vendetta against me. In the past, you have misrepresented my statements so I will not speak to you. Your previous Editor at the Guardian was forced to publish numerous corrections after my complaints. I therefore always ask that you communicate via email.
I therefore challenge you to show the email you sent informing me of the allegations that you were clearly investigating which formed the basis for the front page story last week. It is unethical and unfair for you to write a story on the basis that I was informed about the allegations when this was not in fact so. It gives the impression that I had no defence or explanation to the allegation. Had I been so informed, I would have sent this email to you last week instead because I would have known what the allegations were and been able to respond to them. Instead, I read about them when the story was published.
Mr. Navarro is a respected University of Texas graduate who has been working in the field of customs brokerage for many years now. Navarro’s has managed to ferret out the file in this matter and would be happy to clarify any misconceptions and address any concerns without breaching client confidentiality.
My Range Rover was imported from an authorised Range Rover dealer in London. I paid the market price which was disclosed to the Integrity Commission.
I doubt very much if this will be published but am copying it to your Editors in the hope that it might.
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
NOVEMBER 9, 2013